Whilst the news is dominated by the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, with major implications for public health and the NHS, it is also causing economic disruption and we want to reassure you we have put in place sensible measures to ensure that Collegiate is well prepared and well positioned to continue to support you without any difference to our usual service standards.
We are focused on two key aspects: the health and welfare of both our clients and staff and our ability to continue to support clients. Below are some of the specific actions that we have taken.
A robust approach to risk management and operational effectiveness is integral to our business and so we are prepared for unexpected and unusual events through a comprehensive Business Continuity Plan. Our BCP plan identifies the requirements that would be needed for each area of the business to function under a wide range of scenarios and it is kept under constant review. These scenarios include natural disasters, acts of terrorism, data breaches, power and transport failures and major sickness outbreaks such as pandemics. We test our BCP regularly and the processes have performed well.
We have invested in technology and infrastructure to ensure that the business is both robust and adaptable to be able to cope with significant and potentially disruptive events:
- Our staff has the ability to work from home and can remotely access our systems within a secure IT environment.
- We are also able to answer our usual work phone numbers remotely.
- In the event that the Government places restrictions on the movement of people, we are therefore able to continue to operate as normal.
Employee and client safety
The health, safety and well-being of our staff and clients is of paramount importance to us. We are therefore closely monitoring and implementing official guidelines from the Government and health organisations in respect of coronavirus. Specific actions taken include:
- We have required any staff who have travelled recently to one of the listed high risk countries within the previous 14 days to identify themselves. Where staff or a family member has visited these destinations we have asked them to self-isolate and work from home for 14 days as a precautionary measure
- Any staff feeling unwell have been asked not to come to work. We have communicated to all staff that if they have flu-like symptoms they should remain at home
- We have encouraged everyone to be able to work from home and have the technology in place to facilitate this
- Hand sanitisers are available throughout our offices for both staff and clients and we have reinforced our existing clear desk policies to facilitate additional deep cleans.
- We have asked staff to travel for business only when essential. We recognise that many clients will also want to minimise their travel and face-to-face contact during this period and therefore we can facilitate meetings by telephone, videoconferencing and Skype. In the current circumstances, we believe that facilitating meetings by telephone or video conference is best practice
- We have cancelled all internal large meetings and events and are monitoring the situation in relation to our large external events.
The coronavirus outbreak is clearly a constantly evolving situation but we want to reassure you that we are taking sensible precautions to minimise the potential impact of coronavirus on your business and our staff and operations while ensuring it is business as usual. Our lawyers and advisors are of course also on hand to assist with regard to any coronavirus issues that may arise in your organisations.
If you have further questions please do not hesitate to contact us.
0207 459 3573