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Moore (South) Group Coronavirus Working Policy

Andrew Coldwell

Going forward we need to have a documented approach to our working practices. The framework is to be applied group-wide but elements will be on an office by office basis with some things possibly for individuals. Our policy is intended to adhere to the Government guidance and to facilitate team members being able to work comfortably and effectively in their own home but also where necessary to be able to work safely and confidently in environments other than their own home.

Wherever possible team members should continue to work from home in accordance with Government advice. Where they are encountering difficulties in doing this every effort will be made for them to be able to return to the office, bearing in mind their personal concerns and home situations. The choice on where to work will rest, as far as possible (subject to complying with government guidance), with each individual as every person will have different personal circumstances; some being at-risk themselves or sharing a household with such a person or alternatively be responsible for childcare.

This policy has been developed by the Partners, in conjunction with the employees. The aim is to facilitate a risk-appropriate method of working each individual is happy with rather than the firm dictate a one-size-fits-all approach.

All team members need to be aware they must speak to their office managing partner if they have safety concerns over something they are being asked to do. All requests will be given due consideration and in almost all situations will be acceded to. In the unlikely event that an individual believes their concerns are not being listened to they should contact Andrew Henshaw, Partner responsible for HR.

All team members should continue to keep themselves updated on the latest government advice (including the importance of hand sanitizing and regular, thorough handwashing) and where necessary should self-isolate and communicate this to their managing partner. Where you do self-isolate and are subsequently diagnosed with Covid-19 please advise your managing partner as soon as possible.

This policy remains effective until, at the earliest, the cessation of working restrictions by the government
Group-wide measures.
  • Before the team return to work in the office the Partners will be responsible for a “deep clean”
  • Hand sanitising liquid to be obtained and used in all offices. Every employee should wipe down their personal workspace at the beginning and end of each day (including desk, laptop, screens, docking station and phone). All desk surfaces should be clear at the end of each day.
  • Printers/copiers should be wiped immediately after use.
  • Face masks should be made available for any staff requiring them
  • No team members to sit at desks directly facing or adjacent to someone else.
  • Personal possessions of individuals should not be hung up or stored centrally; each person should be responsible for keeping their possessions in their own working area.
  • All team members should as far as possible bring own food from home to work
  • All offices should display the Moore (South) Group policy as well as the risk assessment for the individual office. In addition to this HSE posters on appropriate procedures should be on display in all communal areas including kitchens and washrooms.
  • Avoid face-to-face meetings with other team members as well as clients/contacts. Where this is unavoidable maintain social distancing and ideally hold meetings outside or at the very least in a well-ventilated room. As far as possible internal meetings should be dealt with via Microsoft Teams or Zoom.
  • We expect visitors to our offices to be complying with Government advice on social distancing and where necessary self-isolation and will reinforce this requirement as a minimum through signage on our front doors, in our email footers and through a notice on our website.
A relatively small number of the team use public transport to commute. For those individuals who have to use public transport and do not feel like they can effectively work from home please discuss with office managing partner to consider risks and mitigation measures, including provision of PPE as necessary.
Working from home
As previously mentioned, while government advice is to work from home wherever possible we need to ensure this is appropriate for the wellbeing of each team member both from a physical and mental perspective
All team members should complete a VDU assessment (to be sent by HR) to ensure that the home working environment is fit for work. The firm will consider the responses and will look to provide support and additional equipment as necessary. If the home working conditions change the individual should inform HR so the assessment can be revised.

A Partner in each office will be responsible for regular one-to-one catch-ups with all team members to discuss their physical and mental wellbeing. Where help or changes are required the Partner will arrange support
Each office and the group as a whole will put in place and maintain means of communication between team members to encourage a collaborative and supportive working environment.

Working at a Third Party’s Premises
Wherever possible the priority must be to not visit a client’s premises but where this is not possible:
Prior to any team member visiting a client the relevant partner should discuss the client’s own measures for combatting the spread of the Coronavirus. They should confirm they are following Government guidance on being Covid-secure. Where they have documented policies and procedures these should be obtained and reviewed. These measures should be communicated to the relevant team members prior to visiting and the individuals given the opportunity to voice any concerns and ultimately refuse to go if these concerns are not allayed.

Our absolute minimum requirements for clients wanting us to visit should be a workplace that enables our team to meet current government guidelines on effective social-distancing and to provide materials to enable regular cleaning.

Where team members arrive at a premises and do not feel they are safe, they should advise the partner responsible (who will inform the client) and feel free to leave. 

Team should, as far as possible, limit personal contact with individuals at the client and, if necessary, arrange drop-off areas within the premises to pass information. Every endeavour should be made to limit use of the client’s facilities, particularly for refreshments by ensuring team bring own food and drinks. Masks should be available for any team members wanting to use them.

Individual Moore Office Environments
The managing partner of each office is responsible for carrying out an initial risk assessment for their office, to implement any necessary changes from this assessment and to then keep this under continual consideration and update as necessary. Some of the group-wide controls and risk-mitigation measures will need to be included in the office-specific risk assessment

Areas to include in the risk assessment
a/ maximum staff numbers at any one time to maintain social distancing; controls over where people can sit to avoid being opposite; ascertain team requirements on whether they feel they need to return to working in the office. Fix working days so individuals only work with certain other team members.
b/ protocols for communal walkways, staircases, kitchen areas and other shared spaces; where possible endeavour to implement one-way routes and limited access; consider closing some areas (kitchens/dining areas?) to reduce risk of spread
c/ where appropriate (Chichester/Guildford) discuss policies of 3rd parties sharing office space and agree appropriate procedures
d/ clients coming into the office; where appropriate designate rooms, possibly fixed drop-off times, entry protocols; signage; marked walkways assign cleaning responsibilities
e/ office-specific cleaning and sanitising tasks