We have been following the national discussion on the potential impact of Coronavirus and have come up with the following general guidance summarised below:
· We will be following guidance issued by Public Health England , notably COVID-19: guidance for employers and businesses (25 February 2020). Staff have been reminded of the guidance on ‘Preventing the Spread of Infection’ in section 5.
· Staff have been reminded of the recommendation to wash their hands for the time it takes to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ twice.
· The majority of our staff are home based and also have the capability to work from home. We are encouraging them, where possible, to work remotely and utilise the audio / video conference capabilities available to them. We would ask that our clients support us in this aspiration.
· The diverse geographical spread of our employees world wide and home locations provides further protection against cross infection. There are only a small number of permanently office based staff – they can also work remotely if required.
· Vetasi has offices in UK, Spain, Poland and South Africa who can be called upon to assist in the event of business disruption to staff in any of our regions.
· PHE says that the key to reduce the risk of infection is good hygiene and to avoid direct or close contact with any potentially infected person. Employees have been recommended not to wear facemasks, which are only recommended for people with symptoms of the virus if advised by a healthcare specialist.
· If they have been in contact with a confirmed carrier or have early symptoms of the virus they have been advised to seek medical advice and not attend work. If advised to self-isolate the company will be flexible about medical certification requirements.
· If any staff are affected either by self-isolation or actual infection we will inform any clients, whose projects they are assigned to, of the situation and whatever contingency plans we are able to make.
· The majority of Vetasi internal company meetings are already conducted via audio conference and we will continue with this policy in the future.
We will continue to monitor the ongoing situation and follow guidance from our HR colleagues and will review these arrangements as the situation develops.