Epidemic or Pandemic Policy

During a serious viral epidemic or pandemic, Destel Group’s overall aim will be to encourage our staff to carry on as normal if they are well while taking additional precautions to protect them from exposure to infection and to lessen the risk of spread to others.

 

In terms of business continuity, this means that we will seek to sustain our core business and services as far as is practicable and therefore we will continue to operate largely within the existing framework of company policies and procedures. However, Destel Group recognises that during such times some additional provisions will be required to support staff.

During a serious
Epidemic or Pandemic

Destel Group will implement the following provisions:

 

Communications: 

During the period of a serious epidemic or pandemic, regular guidance and sources of information and support will be made available via managers/supervisors, noticeboards, Destel Group’s Intranet and website. Staff should monitor these sources closely to stay up to date with what is happening within the workplace and what action is being taken to ensure Destel Group meets its obligations to staff, customers and other stakeholders.

 

Additional Hygiene Arrangements: 

  • Destel Group will provide antibacterial sanitiser located throughout company premises and staff will be encouraged and reminded to use these regularly.

  • All surfaces, door handles, bannister rails, telephones, computer keyboards etc. will be cleaned more frequently.

  • All waste bins will be emptied daily.

  • Staff are encouraged to always use clean tissues to cover their mouth/nose when they cough/sneeze (and not to use cloth handkerchiefs or re-use tissues) and to wash/sanitise their hands regularly and specifically after coughing or sneezing.

Vaccination 

Destel Group staff must arrange to be given a vaccination (if available/when available) at its expense. 

Customers

  • In customer-facing areas, Destel Group will provide antibacterial sanitiser, disposable tissues and covered bins for public use, and notices will be posted to encourage customers to use these items.

  • Where possible some separation between our staff and customers will be encouraged for example by use of physical barriers. Please note that the use of a face mask is mandatory to enter our premises.

  • It goes without saying that if you are exhibiting any symptoms you may not enter our premises.

  • if you, after a visit to our premises, and with a reasonable time exhibit any symptoms you must notify us ASAP.

Visitors

  • Visitors to company premises will largely be discontinued except in exceptional circumstances for the duration of the epidemic/pandemic (i.e. Audit purposes).

  • Visitors will be asked for a vaccine certificate or negative test (virus dependant) before being allowed into company premises and if they do not they will be refused entry.

  • Visitors will be asked to sanitise their hands before entering our premises.

  • Visitors should be confined to meeting rooms where at all possible.

  • It goes without saying that if you are exhibiting any symptoms you may not enter our premises.

  • if you, after a visit to our premises, and with a reasonable time exhibit any symptoms you must notify us ASAP.

 

Face to Face Meetings 

  • Travel should largely be avoided unless essential and in particular if it involves the use of public transport.

  • Face to face meetings should be avoided wherever possible and the use of telephone/teleconferencing/email facilities should be encouraged.

  • Where face to face meetings are unavoidable, our designated meeting rooms should be used which will have sanitiser pumps /tissues/waste bins provided and will be cleaned daily. Please note that in such scenarios the use of a face mask for all people involved is mandatory (staff and visitors/customers)

Staff Identified as Potentially At-risk 

Staff at risk of developing viral-related complications (e.g. pregnant workers and those with compromised immune systems) will be reassigned from high-risk work sites and locations. If this is not possible it may be necessary to ask such staff to work from home or remain at home until it is deemed safe to return to the workplace.

What will happen when someone
exhibits symptoms?
 

The most significant symptoms of a viral illness generally are the sudden onset of fever, cough or shortness of breath; other symptoms may include: headache, tiredness, chills, aching muscles, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, loss of appetite. Specific viral infections may produce a different range of symptoms; Destel Group will ensure that the symptoms of the current illness are clearly identified to staff.

 

Whilst at Work 

If a member of staff feels ill with symptoms consistent with the illness, they mustn't simply carry on working. They should report their illness immediately to their manager and if the symptoms are consistent with the illness, they will be sent home, advised to contact their GP (if appropriate) and told not to return to work until the symptoms have cleared and their GP has confirmed they are no longer infectious.

 

Whilst not at Work 

1. If they develop symptoms whilst not at work, they should adhere to the following advice:

  • Inform their manager that they are ill-using the recognised process

  • Stay at home and rest

  • Not going to work until they are fully recovered and their GP has confirmed they are no longer infectious

 

2. As part of the reporting procedures, the manager will seek the permission of the employee to inform their colleagues that they are suffering from the illness. This is a private matter for the individual, but allowing colleagues to know about it will allow them to look out for early symptoms in themselves, and also allow any who may be at-risk in some way (e.g. pregnant) to seek medical advice.

Working Flexibly

 

1. The impact of an epidemic/pandemic will normally mean an increased workload due to a reduction in the actual staff available for work. It will therefore be essential that we maximise the capacity of our available workforce by asking staff to work more flexibly and /or differently. Therefore Destel Group reserves the right to ask staff to undertake one or more of the following options:

  • work additional hours to cover for sick colleagues

  • work more flexibly as required

  • work in a different job role for a period (with appropriate training)

  • work from an alternative location, or even from home if appropriate

  • cancel planned annual leave

 

2. The use of these flexible work practices will vary depending on the seriousness of the staff shortages and the needs of the business at that time. Staff will be paid based on the additional hours and responsibilities they undertake.

Post Epidemic / Pandemic Considerations

 

After the first wave of such an illness, Destel Group acknowledges that staff will need time to completely recover their full fitness and performance levels. Managers will ensure that staff who had been asked to work extended hours or were denied their planned leave are given annual leave where at all possible. However, the possibility of subsequent waves has to be kept in mind and this will be discussed with staff the lessons learnt from the current epidemic/pandemic and continue with the preparations required to cope with subsequent waves