DEALING WITH CORONAVIRUS IN THE WORKPLACE
The Company is committed to ensuring the health & safety of
all employees. To this end, this policy sets out steps that the Company is
taking in order to tackle the coronavirus outbreak, alongside expectations that
are placed upon employees.
We strongly encourage all employees to follow these guidelines
from the World Health Organisation on infection control, both whilst at work
and in their daily lives. This includes:
- frequently cleaning their hands by using alcohol-based hand sanitiser, or soap and water
- when coughing and sneezing, covering mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue, throwing this tissue away immediately and washing their hands
- avoiding close contact with anyone who has a fever and cough.
3) IF YOU DEVELOP
If you begin to display symptoms of the virus, you must follow
government guidance to find out what to do next. This may involve internet and
phone services. You should not go to your doctor’s surgery. You must also
notify your manager at the earliest opportunity.
4) EMPLOYEE TRAVEL
The Company accepts that some of its employees will have plans to
travel in the near future, including pre-booked and paid for holidays. Certain
countries have been identified as having been severely affected by the virus
and we would therefore ask that employees consider, for their health reasons,
whether travelling to these areas is the best thing to do. If a decision is
made to travel, we ask that employees let their manager know of the countries
to be visited so that their return can be managed appropriately.
We also ask all employees to keep themselves up to date with
government guidance on the countries which require self-isolation upon return.
Bear in mind that this guidance can change on a daily basis.
5) PERIODS OF
The government is currently advising people to self-isolate if
they have recently returned from certain countries, even if they have no
symptoms. This means staying at home and not having contact with other people.
In the event that this applies to you, you must not attend work during the
isolation period. If you did not already inform us of travel to such countries
beforehand, you must inform us before your intended return to work. Your
manager will keep in contact with you during this period. Where feasible, we
may consider whether you can work from home during this period, or whether we
can agree a period of paid annual leave with you. Where no other agreement is
made you will be deemed to be on authorised absence and this time off work will
be unpaid and will be treated in accordance with our normal sickness absence
and pay policies and you will receive contractual sick pay.
Some countries require self-isolation on return only where you
display symptoms of the virus. If you do have symptoms on your return,
including a cough, fever or difficulty breathing, you should not attend work.
Follow government guidance on what to do next, which may include using internet
or telephone services, and also follow our normal sickness reporting
procedures. In this situation, you will be treated as being on sickness
If you return from a country which does not require automatic
self-isolation, and you are displaying no symptoms, you should be prepared to
attend work as normal. However, if there is a reason why you think you may have
been exposed to the virus, you should let your manager know before you return
EMPLOYEES HOME/REQUIRING EMPLOYEES NOT TO ATTEND WORK
If we are concerned that you may have been exposed to the virus,
even though you are not displaying symptoms, we may take the decision to send
you home/require you not to attend work. This may occur if, for example, you
inform us that you have been in close contact with someone else who has, or may
have, the virus. This is treated as a period of suspension for medical reasons.
It is not considered a disciplinary sanction; the period of suspension will be
in recognition of the possibility that your continued presence in the workplace
poses a risk of spreading the virus. You will receive full pay during this time
off. Alternatively, we may agree a period of paid annual leave with you.
If, during this period of suspension, you develop symptoms, you
should follow government guidance on what to do next, which may include using
internet or telephone services, and also follow our normal sickness reporting
procedures. You will then be treated as being on a period of sickness absence.
7) EMPLOYEES WHO
CONTRACT THE VIRUS
If you contract the virus, you should take and follow medical
advice on the length of your sickness absence. You are required to produce a
medical certificate for illnesses lasting seven calendar days or more, however,
we appreciate that you are not likely to be in a position to obtain a medical
certificate in usual timescales, therefore you should provide it as soon as is
reasonably practicable. During your absence, our normal sickness absences rules
will apply and you will receive (*statutory sick pay (SSP) in accordance with
legal requirements in force from time to time/pay in accordance with our
contractual sick pay subject to meeting qualifying criteria.)
8) ATTENDANCE AT
Unless you have followed our usual reporting procedures in
relation to sickness absence, are in self-isolation following government
guidance, or not attending work under our specific instruction, you are
expected to attend work as normal.
As time progresses, it may become clear that the business is
temporarily unable to continue its operations as normal. In this scenario, we
may be forced to close all, or part, of the business temporarily until such a
time as we are able to resume operations. Whilst we will do everything we can to
ensure that this does not happen, we may be left with no option but to place
you on furlough, or short time working.
10) WORKING FROM
It may be necessary for us to require you to work from an
alternative work location if, for example, instructions from a third party mean
that entry into our current workplace is not permitted. Your flexibility in
this regard will be expected, however, all instructions of this nature will be
The Company will consider, as part of its general approach to
maintaining normal business operations, whether employees are to work from
home. Obviously, this will not be possible in every case due to the nature of
individual roles. However, we will assess the viability of this option, taking
into consideration any equipment needed, at the relevant time and, as a result,
you may be required to work from home for a temporary period. Employees should
not assume that they will be permitted to work from home and advance
authorisation will be needed in every case.
We operate a zero tolerance policy to all forms of harassment and
bullying in the workplace. We will not tolerate any unacceptable behaviour to
colleagues, suppliers, members of the public etc. Any complaints of this nature
will be investigated in line with our usual policy and may result in
disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.