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March 2020 – Aspire releases updated Coronavirus Policy

See Aspire’s latest Coronovirus policy  – our policy is continually updated to safeguard our employees, protect our local communities and serve our clients . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Introduction

Aspire is committed to the health and safety and well being of all of its employees as well as supporting the community well-being of the local communities it serves.

This policy sets out the steps that the Company is taking in relation to Coronavirus (COVID-19) while maintaining work that is deemed to be essential by our clients and continuing to provide our employees with opportunities for good work while promoting their rights to a healthy workplace.

This policy will be regularly updated to reflect recent developments in the pandemic and will be reissued to our workers and clients.

 

Objective
As an employer our fundamental objective is to ensure the health and safety of our employees and to develop a flexible response within our organisation to ensure compliance with government rules and to respect the safety of health and care professionals and the wider public during these challenging times.

 

Government rules

These include:

  • travelling for work purposes, but only where work cannot be done from home
  • shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
  • one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of a household
  • any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person

 

The government is not saying that only people doing “essential” work can go to work. Anyone who cannot work from home can still go to work but should take particular care at work including:

  • social distancing – staying 2 metres (6 feet) away from other people at all times
  • frequently washing hands for at least 20 seconds by using soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub;
  • 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 fever and cough wherever possible

 

What we have changed

Aspire is committed to continuing to providing services for its clients while continuously reviewing our services to ensure that they are flexible to ensure that they comply with best practice.

  • our flexible employment policy has ensured that workers with childcare policy are able to take time off to care for them now that schools are closed;
  • our mobile workforce will no longer travel together in vans to ensure that they can keep the specified distance apart;
  • we have provided sanitiser for cleaning of vans and surfaces and individual hand soap dispensers for employees;
  • to avoid public transport our employees are being given access to cycle schemes and the use of their cars for travel to and from work with free petrol;
  • all work that is capable of being carried out at home is carried out there;
  • no face to face meetings take place;
  • all employees have access to a Coronavirus helpline.

 


If employees develop symptoms 

If you begin to display symptoms such as a cough or high temperature, you must follow current government guidance to find out what to do next, which will involve internet and phone services. You should not go to your doctor’s surgery.

You must notify your manager at the earliest opportunity but the most important thing is to ensure that you and your colleagues are kept safe.

You can find current NHS guidance at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

 

Periods of self-isolation

You should not leave your home if you have symptoms of Coronavirus or live with someone who does. This is called self-isolation or household isolation. You need to self-isolate for 7 days. After 7 days if you do not have a high temperature, you do not need to self-isolate. If you still have a high temperature, keep self-isolating until your temperature returns to normal. You do not need to self-isolate if you just have a cough after 7 days. A cough can last for several weeks after the infection has gone.

 

If you live with someone who has symptoms

If you live with someone who has symptoms, you need to self-isolate for 14 days from the day their symptoms started. This is because it can take 14 days for symptoms to appear. If you get symptoms, self-isolate for 7 days from when your symptoms start, even if it means you’re self-isolating for longer than 14 days. If you do not get symptoms, you can stop self-isolating after 14 days.

You must not attend work during the isolation period. You must inform your manager at the earliest opportunity that you are under guidance to self-isolate or for your household to isolate.

Your pay will be covered by our existing sickness agreement. You are paid in full for eight weeks sickness under the current occupational scheme and we are using our discretion as advised by Government not to require any additional evidence from you.

 

 

Sending employees home

In exceptional circumstance, 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 will be treated as a period of sickness and you will be paid in full. If, during this period of suspension, you develop symptoms, you should follow present Government guidance on what to do next, which may include using internet or telephone services, and also follow our normal sickness reporting procedures.

 

Employees who contract the virus

If you contract the virus, you should take and follow medical advice on the length of your sickness absence. Our normal contractual sick pay scheme will apply during your absence and we are using our discretion not to require sick notes during this period.

 

Attendance at work

We understand that our employees may be concerned during this period if attendance at work is necessary. Any employee who has concerns about this or any work practice that they deem to be a risk should raise this matter with the office or with their supervisor as part of our approach to flexible working, we will consider any reasonable request including reducing working hours, extended leave arrangements and so on.

 

Employee assistance programme

If you have any worries or concerns about any aspect of the current situation, please contact the office or remember you can speak in confidence to our independent and confidential 24-hour telephone counselling service on 0800 407 4097 or log on to the following website https://healthassuredeap.co.uk  using the login details sent to you.

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