Returning to the Workplace Phase 1 - Published 20th July 2020

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have now implemented Phase 1 of our return to the workplace. The following explains our risk assessment and procedures for working:-

Phase 1

  • Working from home remains in place for the majority of our employees.
  • A small number of employees will begin returning to our HQ in Swansea to undertake essential tasks that cannot be completed at home.
  • All our offices remain closed to the public, and we continue to service our clients’ legal needs from home.
  • Vulnerable workers will not be returning to work in Phase 1. 
  • Only employees who have their own transport will return in this Phase.
  • Induction presentations have been shared with employees returning to site to highlight all changes and outlining the responsibility of the employees.  All employees must adhere to the new policies at all times and take all precautions necessary.

Social Distancing & Sanitation

  • We have restricted attendance to the minimum number of workers required that would allow effective social distancing while still making operations viable.
  • Sanitising station to be used on arrival and exit of the building.
  • The 2 metre distance must be maintained between employees at all times, with signage installed throughout the building as a reminder.
  • All workstations are spaced out at least 2 metres apart. Hot desking is not permitted. 
  • Half of the building will operate as a one way system with arrows indicating the direction of travel, the other half of the building is open plan so it is not necessary.
  • Doors will remain open where they are not fire doors.
  • Face masks are not necessary but may be used at employees’ discretion.
  • Gloves are not to be worn as these increase the risk of transmission, except for accepting deliveries, where gloves shall be used but must be disposed of immediately.
  • The office will be deep cleaned weekly with an enhanced daily clean throughout. 
  • All desks and equipment on desks must be cleaned by employees before and after use.
  • Cleaning materials will be available on every in use desk. 
  • Anti- bacterial wipes and gel will be available throughout the office.
  • All ‘touchpoint’ areas will be sanitised as part of the enhanced daily cleaning regime.
  • 2 metre social distancing must be adhered to at all times within the allocated smoking area and all smokers must wash/sanitise their hands before and after smoking.
  • Employees must wear clothing that is easy to wash at the end of each day.
  • Cars to park with at least one space empty between them. 
  • Two contractors will be allowed on site at a time to carry out essential maintenance/cleaning works once they have signed a risk assessment.  

Working Patterns

  • Start, finish and lunch times will be staggered so there is less movement in and out of the building at the same time. 
  • Employees must ensure the foyer area and walkways are clear before entering and exiting the building.
  • Communal areas cannot be used for break times and food should be eaten at desks.
  • Kitchen facilities are out of use during this phase.

Fire Safety

  • The clocking in machine must be used by all employees entering and exiting the building.
  • A temporary onsite fire marshal has been appointed.

Air Conditioning

  • Air conditioning is not a concern in open plan areas. 
  • All employees must work in the open plan space at an allocated desk. 

Communal Areas & Washroom Facilities

  • Communal areas will be cleaned daily.
  • A hot drink rota will ensure one person makes a round of teas and coffees in the morning and one in the afternoon.  
  • Bottled water will be provided to employees during Phase 1.
  • The use of the lift is discouraged unless absolutely necessary, if absolutely necessary it must be used by only one person at a time.
  • Washroom facilities have been altered to better accommodate social distancing.

Mental Health  

  • Employees will be reminded about the role of mental health first-aiders and champions and the help and support that is also available through the employee assistance programme.

Employees with Symptoms

  • Employees who have been in close contact with a possible or confirmed case of coronavirus have been instructed not to come to work and to self-isolate. 
  • All employees must assess that they are fit for work each day and do not have COVID symptoms.  They should take their temperature to ensure it is not high before coming in to the office.  A contactless thermometer will be available at the office for use by staff if required. 
  • Should someone develop symptoms, the office will be evacuated and deep cleaned throughout, including communal areas. 
  • Should an employee test positive for COVID then all office based employees will be informed to self -isolate.

For further information contact Jacqui Gower, HR Manager on 01792 529622 or email Jacqui.Gower@jcpsolicitors.co.uk