Frequently Asked Questions for Colleagues

To print the full Q and A to display on staff noticeboards and in break areas click here

We recognise that there is a wealth of information that you may need at the moment around absence procedures in relation to coronavirus. As such we have created an addendum to the Management of Attendance Policy and Procedure which is available by clicking here and will answer many questions you have relating to coronavirus and our absence procedure including:

  • What are the symptoms of coronavirus? 
  • What should I do if I have coronavirus symptoms or someone I live with does? 
  • How to get tested for coronavirus if I have symptoms?
  •  What evidence is required to certify an absence related to coronavirus?
  • What should I do if I have issues with care of a dependent?
  • What should I do if I am in a vulnerable group or are shielding?

For questions on the following topics click on the links below:

Useful links to information on coronavirus
Sick pay for coronavirus absences
Staying safe at work
Travel to work, Work-related travel and Customer Visits
Additional Support
Home Working
Furlough (Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme)

Useful links to information on coronavirus

www.gov.uk/coronavirus
www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

The advice may be different depending on which part of the UK you live or work in.  Additional guidance for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can be found at the following links:

Scotland: www.gov.scot
Wales: www.gov.wales
Northern Ireland: www.nidirect.gov.uk

Sick pay for coronavirus absences

1.What will I be paid if have coronavirus symptoms and have been advised to stay at home for up to ten days (and I am unable or too poorly to work from home) or advised to stay home for up to fourteen days because someone in my household has symptoms?

We want to do everything we can to support our colleagues at this time and ensure that no one suffers any detriment for following the advice of the Government which will help protect their colleagues and reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Therefore any colleague who is not contractually entitled to Company Sick Pay will be provided with up to one week’s full pay during any self-isolation or household-isolation period. This is above what is currently legally required but as a responsible business and employer we want to ensure we are playing our part in protecting our colleagues and mitigating the spread of the virus.  

Anyone who has coronavirus symptoms, or lives with someone who does, is now eligible to apply to be tested (see question 4 for more detail on the testing process).  If for any reason you don’t want to take a test you should discuss this with your Line Manager.  However not taking a test or delaying taking a test will likely mean you are required to self isolate or household isolate longer than is necessary therefore this may impact your eligibility for Company Sick Pay. 

For any colleague who has already used any rolling entitlement to Company Sick Pay, we will provide you with up to one week’s pay which will be taken from any future entitlement. 

There are many contract variations throughout the business so we recommend colleagues speak to their Line Manager or local HR team for further advice. As the COVID-19 situation develops we will continue to review this position on a regular basis and it is subject to change.

Any colleague that is required to stay home for more than one week and does not have additional contractual sick pay or has used the additional one weeks pay that the company has offered in this situation, will be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay in line with current legislation.  This will be the case for the remainder of this instance of absence and for any future instance of sickness absence either in relation to coronavirus or otherwise.

Staying safe at work

2.What can I do to avoid catching or spreading the virus?

Firstly you must stay at home if you, or someone you live with, have any or all of the three coronavirus symptoms. You must also follow the social distancing and hygiene measures that are in place at all of our locations if you not able to work from home.  Your Line Manager will discuss these with you.  These have been put into place to keep you safe and to ensure we are adhering to the Governments guidance on keeping our workplaces COVID-19 Secure which includes the following actions:

  • We have carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment and shared the results with colleagues
  • We have cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures in place
  • We have taken all reasonable steps to help people work from home 
  • We have taken all reasonable steps to maintain a two metre distance in the workplace
  • Where people cannot be two metres apart we have done everything practical to manage transmission risk

3.I have seen some people wearing face coverings, why have I not been provided one to wear at work?

Currently the UK Governments advice is for people to only wear face coverings in enclosed spaces such as shops, trains and buses to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus.  Their advice has been clear that face coverings are not as effective at protecting people from the coronavirus  as the social distancing and hygiene measures that we have in place at all of our locations and they only provide limited protection in a few circumstances.  With this in mind we are not asking colleagues to wear face coverings at work.  

We do understand that some colleagues may wish to wear face coverings at work and if that is the case we will not stop anyone from wearing one.  However any colleague choosing to wear a face covering is strongly advised to follow additional hygiene steps on the wearing, removal and disposal of face coverings as detailed in the ‘Restore Plc Policy Guidance - Face Coverings’ document.  Not following these steps may increase the risk of coronavirus infection.  

Any colleague choosing to wear a face covering at work is still expected to follow all of the social distancing and increased hygiene measures in place at their work location. 

4.I am now working from home for the foreseeable future, what is Restore doing to ensure I can safely work from home?

Anyone who can work from home must do so for the foreseeable future in line with Government advice.  All colleagues who are now home working should have completed the Home Working Assessment Form along with the relevant courses on Safety Media for Home Working and DSE (Display Screen Equipment).  If you have not completed these you must speak to your Line Manager immediately.  If you have any safety concerns whilst you are working from home you must report them to your Line Manager immediately in the same way you would if you were working onsite.  

5.I am concerned that social distancing is not being followed at my site, what should I do?

We are doing all that we can to ensure social distancing is in place in all roles where it is possible to do so safely and in line with the Government advice.   The safety of all colleagues is of the utmost importance to us.  This may mean that there may be some very specific situations where, for example, keeping the 2 metre distance would create other safety concerns and we may have to take additional steps such as providing PPE or increasing hygiene measures.  If you believe that social distancing is not being followed correctly at your location we strongly encourage you to speak to your Line Manager in the first instance so that immediate steps can be taken to resolve the situation.  You can also email hr@restoreplc.com

6.I have a suggestion regarding ways in which we could improve safety at my work location, what should I do?

We would really encourage people to come forward with their suggestions regarding this.  Please either share your suggestion with your Line Manager or email hr@restoreplc.com

Travel to work, Work-related travel and Customer Visits

7. What is the Company view on work-related travel?

8. Some of the customer sites I am visiting are not following the social distancing guidelines, what should I do?

The Government has been very clear that all businesses must adhere to the guidance on social distancing designed to keep us all safe and to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.  We are doing everything we can at Restore to follow the Governments advice on how to keep all colleagues safe at work.  If it is essential that you attend a customer site but you don’t feel safe, either on arrival or at any time during your visit, due to lack of hygiene or social distancing practices in place we would ask that you politely advise the customer of the situation and leave.  You should contact your Line Manager to make them aware of the situation as soon as possible. We don’t want any colleague to be put in a position where their safety is at risk and you will have the full support of the company in politely declining to continue a customer visit in such circumstances.

9. What about travel to and from work?

For travel that is essential such as travelling to and from work we advise you to avoid public transport, where possible, or avoid travelling during peak times if you have no alternative way of getting to work.  You may also be able to get on and off transport at quieter stops, or walk some part of your journey.  We may be able to temporarily amend start and finish times to help you avoid travelling at peak times.  We are keen to support you in taking measures to keep yourself safe and advise you to discuss this with your Line Manager if you have any concerns.  

From June 16 anyone travelling on public transport will be required to wear a face covering or risk a fine.  Whilst wearing a face covering does not protect you from the virus there is evidence to suggest it can protect others if you are infected but have not yet developed symptoms.  As soon as you arrive at work or home you should wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds.

Additional support for colleagues

10. What other steps are Restore taking to protect colleagues and to reduce the risk of the virus spreading?

  • We have a dedicated team whose sole focus is to monitor and manage the situation on an ongoing basis and we will be providing you with updates regularly
  • We are constantly reviewing government advice and will take appropriate and proportionate actions where necessary.
  • We are regularly communicating with colleagues about the coronavirus situation and how we are responding it as a business 
  • We have established ‘employee catch ups’ across all business areas for colleagues to have time with their divisional MD to ask questions
  • We have ensured that all of our open workplaces meet the Government’s COVID-secure guidance
  • We are providing guidance on handwashing techniques, recommended by the NHS, which is being displayed at all sites in toilets and kitchen areas.
  • We are providing hand sanitisers at all sites
  • There are disinfectant wipes available at a number of sites and if these are available to you (or you have your own) then we would recommend you wipe down your work area at the start and end of your day.  We are trying to procure more disinfectant materials to enable this.
  • We are taking steps to ensure colleagues receive accurate and reliable information about the virus as we are aware there is much misinformation in the media 
  • We are continuing to consider additional hygiene measures to improve your and our customers’ safety
  • We have implemented home working in all roles in which it is possible to do so to limit the social contact of those in roles who are not able to home work
  • We are investigating ways to have increased social distancing in the workplace for those who cannot work from home. 
  • We have launched our Restore Coronavirus Colleague Support Zone full of useful information to help you stay safe and well at https://www.restore.co.uk/Intranet/Coronavirus-Colleague-Support-Zone
  • We are delivering extra training to our management teams to ensure they are fully equipped to deal with the ongoing challenges of the coronavirus situation 
  • We are reminding colleagues that the Company provides access to a free and confidential employee assistance telephone service.  This service is provided by Health Assured and can provide emotional support with a qualified counsellor 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year on 0800 030 5182. The service can also provide advice and support on health concerns, financial worries, family or relationship issues and much more.    

Home Working

11. I have heard that colleagues previously required to home work may be able to return to offices now, is this true?

The Government guidance throughout the coronavirus pandemic has always been clear that where colleagues can home work they should do so. This was to protect themselves, mimimise social interaction and to reduce the spread of the virus. At Restore we have always supported colleagues to enable them to follow this advice and we took steps very quickly to enable colleagues to home-work safely and effectively as soon as we could. The advice from the Government has now changed slightly and says that colleagues are able to return to workplaces with their employers permission, and provided that their employer is able to ensure their place of work is COVID secure. All of our workplaces are COVID secure and we have implemented the relevant safety and hygiene measures required across all of our sites. However one of the ways we are able to maintain safe social distancing measures is because we have reduced numbers of colleagues working at our locations. That’s why it is really important that anyone currently home working does not return to work from any of our sites without first discussing this with their Line Manager and obtaining permission from their SLT. We also need to ensure that anyone returning to site after a period of home working, or visiting a site, is fully inducted into their work location and the safety changes we have made have all been explained to them, thus ensure our workplaces remain COVID secure and safe for all colleagues.

We appreciate that home working has been a huge change for many and has presented challenges for some. We know it is not for everyone. If you are finding home working difficult please speak to your Line Manager about it so that we can look to offer any additional support you may need which may include, if it is appropriate and safe to do so, a return to work in an office location provided that social distancing can still be maintained for all colleagues. In some cases it may be that the work currently being carried out temporarily at home is actually best placed to be carried out at one of our sites again. Therefore a return to work, from home-working, may be appropriate. If this is the case your Line Manager will discuss this with you fully in the first instance to address any concerns you may have about returning to the workplace and to ensure you are fully informed of the measures we have put in in place to keep you safe.

 

Please note that this information and advice is regularly updated and subject to change as the situation, advice and our policies develop.  You should also ensure that you read the specific government and NHS guidelines to confirm any specific medical advice regarding the virus.

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