Covid-19 Employee updateApril 1st, 2020 Category: Company News Covid-19 Staff
HR Director Update – 31st March 2020
So often have we been the invisible workforce, the service we provide seen as a cost cutting exercise, a commodity that isn’t high on the agenda.
Well we are not invisible anymore; our frontline workforce has been confirmed as Key Workers and the service we provide is absolutely essential in fighting this crisis and keeping people safe and alive.
The Government have our backs in this by advising our government funded clients, that their service providers who contribute towards the fight against Coronavirus should continue to be paid in full until at least 30th June; and Nviro has been contacted by the Cabinet Office directly, to ensure that we prioritise buildings that are key to our communities’ battle against the COVID-19 virus.
This is great news to us as we can continue to support our clients and their communities through this pandemic. However, with this, is the need to ensure our resources are directed to help those clients and sites that are deemed of Critical National Infrastructure, part of the NHS or are to be strategic Community Hubs.
There is also a need for our workforce to be more flexible and accommodating. Our routine cleaning will need to cease as we know it, as we will need to provide a more agile service to respond to our customers’ ever changing needs during this crisis.
In return our customers need to recognise the dedication and safety of our frontline workforce, and understand the need for our workforce to meet social distancing and hand hygiene requirements when working on sites. If our customers don’t abide by these rules, we will be unable to clean their sites.
With this, we recognise that it is our frontline staff going out every day that are the true heroes of our business, and should be rewarded for their commitment and flexibility. As such we propose to pay any frontline member of staff, who has adapted their work pattern to support in the COVID-19 battle, a wage rate premium commencing from 4th April.
Those employees who continue to deliver their normal contracted employment, working in the field or at home, will be paid their normal wage, for the foreseeable future.
Those employees who we are unable to utilise or redeploy, will be paid at 80% of their wage in line with the Government guidance around ‘Furlough’, with the scheme currently being available until 31st May. It is an Employer’s decision whether to Furlough a member of staff, not an Employee’s decision, and HR will provide some further guidance around this.
In order for these initiatives to be successful, which we plan to be in place until the new school term in September, we need to be led by Client type and their needs (is this client/site critical in the fight against COVID-19?), followed by what Service can deliver, and our Support functions can then ensure processes are followed correctly.
More detail will follow, to confirm which of our clients are critical, how our clients should be charged and how our employees should be paid.
I see this as the turning point in the Industry where cleaning will finally be seen as a strategy, an expense worth investing in and a crucial need in keeping people safe and healthy. Never more can we truly say that we make a difference to people’s lives!