With the continued threat of Coronavirus, the Company is putting the following guidelines in place with immediate effect to ensure that we are all doing everything possible to protect the business, our colleagues and members of the public. It is important that we all take personal responsibility for our health and well- being and do everything we can to reduce the risk to the Company, our colleagues and customers.
High Risk Employees
Following the latest Government guidelines, the Company will support colleagues who fall into the following categories to enable them to carry out ‘Social Distancing’ as described in the link https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable- people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-older-people-and-vulnerable- adults
Any colleague with the following conditions will be given the option to go home and if possible, work at home. For those colleagues for whom this is not possible basic pay will continue although this will be reviewed weekly.
- aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)
- under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (i.e. anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds):
- chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
- chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
- chronic kidney disease
- chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
- chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), a learning disability or cerebral palsy
- problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed
- a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
- being seriously overweight (a BMI of 40 or above)
- those who are pregnant
Note: there are some clinical conditions which put people at even higher risk of severe illness from COVID-
- If you are in this category, next week the NHS in England will directly contact you with advice the more stringent measures you should take in order to keep yourself and others safe. For now, you should rigorously follow the social distancing advice in full, outlined below.
People falling into this group are those who may be at particular risk due to complex health problems such as:
- People who have received an organ transplant and remain on ongoing immunosuppression medication
- People with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radiotherapy
- People with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia who are at any stage of treatment
- People with severe chest conditions such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma (requiring hospital admissions or courses of steroid tablets)
- People with severe diseases of body systems, such as severe kidney disease (dialysis)
During your time away from work, you must be available, during your normal working hours, for weekly contact from a member of the Management team and should the Company require you to carry out any form of work from home i.e. online training you must comply with this instruction. We will require you to ensure that your contact details are up to date. You should check this through your online Selima portal and make any changes required.
If you have any authorised, booked holiday during this time, this will remain in place and will be deducted from your entitlement as normal.
If during this period you become ill, either with symptoms of Coronavirus or any other illness you must report this in the normal way to your Line Manager at which point you will be put onto either Company Sick Pay or SSP dependent on your entitlement. Any colleague not following this instruction may be subject to disciplinary action.
Working from Home
In line with the guidance issued by the Government we have considered the option for colleagues who are able to work from home to do so. Clearly as a retail and hospitality business this isn’t an option that is available to all but where we are able to implement it, we will i.e. Head Office.
In order for colleagues to be able to work from home you will need to have the following in place:
- PC or Laptop
- Internet Access
- The ability to make and receive work related
- The ability to join conference calls with your Ideally this would be downloading Microsoft Teams onto your mobile phone or tablet. However, we understand that if you don’t have a Company phone you may not want to do this.
In addition to this you:
- Must be available and working during your normal contracted hours unless by prior agreement with your Line Manager
- Will be able to come into the office at any time if either we request you come in for a specific purpose or you need to collect (unless you are ill or self-isolating)
- Must tell your Line Manager if your personal situation changes e. you become ill, either with Coronavirus or any other illness or you must self-isolate.
- Will need to complete your online DSE training at home based on the workstation you have set This will need to be done on your first day of working from home.
We will reimburse any reasonable costs incurred, i.e. to cover costs of making work-related calls, provided these are agreed where possible in advance by your Line Manager. Claims will need to be authorised in the normal way and receipts attached.
We will review this situation on a weekly basis, and should Government advice change you will be expected to return to the office as normal. It is important to note that it must remain ‘Business as usual’ and the teams in the centres must be able to contact Head Office staff as they do now.
With immediate effect only essential business travel is permitted. Any foreign travel must be approved by the CEO and any travel to any affected region is prohibited until further notice.
Attendance at trade shows, in the UK or elsewhere should be avoided where possible. Where attendance is essential to the business, this must be approved prior to attendance.
Where meetings are required, consider using Skype or Microsoft Team to facilitate remote meetings.
Whilst the Company cannot prohibit any colleague from travelling for personal reasons, it is important that we are aware of any colleague visiting an affected area. We therefore request that any colleague who intends to travel for personal reasons informs their Line Manager. This information must then be passed on to the HR department so that a central log can be maintained. This could then be used to identify any
potential risks to the business, it’s colleagues and customers.
If on your return from any personal travel, you develop any symptoms, you should take professional medical advice and inform your Line Manager prior to attending work. If you are returning from a country deemed to be an ‘affected area’ you should self-isolate as per current guidelines. Please note that most countries are no longer listed as we are also one.
If you decide to travel to an affected area despite Government advice being not to do so and must self- isolate or are ill on your return, you will not be paid for any time taken off.
You should continue to book holiday during this time as you normally would. If you have holiday already booked and are off work during that period of time for any reason related to Coronavirus, other than sickness, your holiday will remain in place and be deducted from your annual entitlement. Should you have holiday booked to go abroad but are unable to travel, your leave will remain.
Dependent Care Leave
If you need to take time off work to look after dependents, you may do this. This is your statutory right and as per our Dependent Care Leave policy will be unpaid.
The Company advises all colleagues to refrain from any personal contact. This includes shaking hands. Should a visitor attempt to have any form of personal contact with you, politely advise them that as a business we have implemented this policy to protect individuals during the Coronavirus threat.
Please ensure you are following the advice given by the WHO regarding handwashing. This should be frequent and thorough, using hot water and soap. The use of antibacterial gel, where available, should be in addition to good hand hygiene and gloves should not be used as a replacement for handwashing. Gloves, where used, should be disposed of carefully after use and changed frequently.
Care should be taken that all equipment throughout the Company is cleaned regularly and thoroughly, using the correct cleaning chemicals. This includes touch screens on tils, telephones, door handles etc.
If colleagues are uncomfortable about carrying out their normal duties or tasks, we should ensure their concerns are listened to and addressed accordingly, E.G. if colleagues are concerned about the risk of infection from handling coins and bank notes they could be issued with disposable gloves. Colleagues should be made aware that the wearing of disposable gloves will not negate the risk of infection and they should ensure that they do not touch their face whilst wearing them. The first and most effective way of stopping the spread of infection is good hand hygiene as outlined in the previous paragraph.
If we have taken all reasonable precautions but there is a refusal to carry out tasks, please contact the HR department for further advice in the first instance.
You should take the following precautions to prevent infection:
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hand) when you cough or sneeze
- Put used tissues in a bin straight away
- Wash your hands with soap and hot water if you have handled a tissue e. to blow your nose
- Try to avoid close contact with people who are
- Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean and wash them after touching your
If you have or develop either of the following symptoms:
- High Temperature
You should follow the Government Guidelines and self-isolate. Our Sickness Absence Policy – Dealing with Coronavirus, explains our position in respect of dealing with any absence due to the Coronavirus.
Any other symptoms such as sore throats and colds will be treated as normal sickness and all our normal rules regarding sick pay will apply i.e. waiting days etc.
Following the updated guidance regarding Self-Isolation, anyone with these symptoms who lives alone should continue to self-isolate for 7 days. Anyone who lives with other people and either develops the symptoms themselves or another member of their household develops them should self-isolate for 14 days. Where it is another member of your household with symptoms initially, your own self-isolation should start again if you then develop symptoms.
Colleagues with colds, sore throats etc will not be deemed as self-isolating but should be treated as sick and processed in the normal way regarding pay as these are not stated by medical professionals as being symptoms of Coronavirus.
If you have the equipment to allow you to work from home, consider taking your IT equipment home every day, in order that you can continue to work if you become ill or are advised by a medical professional to self-isolate.
Ensure your personal and emergency contacts are up to date in case they need to be contacted in the event of you becoming unwell whilst at work. This should be done through your self-service portal on Selima HR.
Whilst these procedures have been outlined and issued by the Company, they should not be taken in isolation. As employees we are all responsible for preventing the spread of this and any other infection so if you see something that you believe is not a safe working practice you should highlight it to your Line Manager.
We will update this policy as required to ensure that all the latest guidelines from the Government or any other official body are included.