The purpose of the COVID-19 workplace policy is to ensure a robust process exists to maintain a safe working environment. The guidelines described within this policy provide guidance and eliminate confusion as to proper procedures designed to address the coronavirus pandemic.
This policy covers office staff, workers, services to our customers and our working relationships with third parties. As part of our business continuity planning processes, Leabrand has initiated a Covid-19 plan to address the risks associated with the pandemic. We appreciate that all companies will have their own Covid-19 approaches which we will, where possible, support and take into consideration during this ever-changing and challenging time.
Leabrand will continue to monitor information provided by relevant authoritative bodies daily, adapting policies and plans as necessary. Risk assessments and scenario planning will continue to be reviewed based on the ongoing developments across the UK and elsewhere.
This policy attempts to achieve the right balance in terms of business continuity against risk to individuals during this period of uncertainty. Leabrand acknowledges that individuals will be both anxious and concerned at this time and that they will have their own views as to appropriate actions to take. Leabrand recognises that people need to be comfortable with their own decisions, but at no point will the company pressure staff to attend work if they are unwell or have concerns around travel and being in public spaces. However, we urge everyone engaged in Leabrand business to take all necessary personal precautions over and above any decisions and advice provided by the Institute or that of Public Health England.
What is Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses with some causing less severe disease, such as the common cold, and others causing more severe disease, such as Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) coronaviruses. Signs of COVID-19 usually begin 2-14 days after a person has been infected. Some people get infected with the coronavirus but don't have any symptoms. Most of those people get better without treatment.
According to the NHS and the WHO, main symptoms of the Coronavirus usually include:
These symptoms are similar to other respiratory diseases, including flu and the common cold.
According to current evidence, SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) is primarily transmitted between people through respiratory droplets and contact routes. Airborne transmission is possible in specific settings in which procedures or support treatments that generate aerosols are performed. At the moment, human-to-human transmission is occurring extensively. In addition to respiratory secretions, SARS-CoV-2 has been detected in blood, faeces and urine.
Leabrand will promote and ensure the practice of handwashing and surface cleaning by:
Social distancing applies to all parts of the business, not just the place where people spend most of their time, but also entrances and exits, break rooms, canteens and similar settings. These are often the most challenging areas to maintain social distancing.
Where the social distancing guidelines cannot be followed in full Leabrand will consider whether that activity needs to continue for the business to operate, and if so, take all the mitigating actions possible to reduce the risk of transmission between their staff
Clinically vulnerable individuals
Clinically vulnerable individuals, who are at higher risk of severe illness (for example, people with some pre-existing conditions, see definition in Appendix), will be asked to take extra care in observing social distancing and will be helped to work from home where possible, either in their current role or in an alternative role. If clinically vulnerable individuals cannot work from home, they will be offered the option of the safest available role, enabling them to maintain social distancing guidelines (2m, or 1m with risk mitigation where 2m is not viable, is acceptable). If they cannot maintain social distancing, Leabrand will carefully assess whether this involves an acceptable level of risk. As for any workplace risk the company will take into account specific duties to those with protected characteristics, including, for example, expectant mothers who are, as always, entitled to suspension on full pay if suitable roles cannot be found. Particular attention will also be paid to people who live with clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
Leabrand will ensure only absolutely necessary participants physically attend meetings, whilst maintaining social distancing guidelines (2m, or 1m with risk mitigation where 2m is not viable, is acceptable). Leabrand will avoid transmission during meetings by, for example, avoiding sharing pens, documents and other objects, hold meetings outdoors or in well-ventilated rooms whenever possible.
Leabrand will maintain a record of all visitors, encourage visits via remote connection/working where this is an option, limiting visitor times to a specific time window, restricting access to required visitors only and limit the number of visitors at any one time.
The company will provide clear guidance on social distancing and hygiene to people on arrival, for example, signage, visual aids. And before arrival, for example, by phone, on the website, by email. Leabrand will consider the particular needs of those with protected characteristics, such as those who are hearing or visually impaired.
Leabrand will ensure frequent cleaning of objects and surfaces that are touched regularly including door handles and keyboards, Limiting or restricting use of high-touch items and equipment for example printers or whiteboards and clearing workspaces and removing waste and belongings from the work area at the end of a shift.
If cleaning after a known or suspected case of COVID-19 is taking place, Leabrand will refer to the specific guidance.