We have a business continuity framework in place which plans for a variety of potential business continuity incidents, including the impact of pandemic illnesses. World Health Organisation and UK Chief Medical Officer guidelines apply.

A decision to invoke progression of levels will be communicated to staff, clients and suppliers via email and by managers and team leaders as appropriate. As of 9:00 – 18 March 2020, there is no current impact to our teams or the services that we provide.

Level One INVOKED

Standard seasonal flu prevention methods and good hygiene practices apply. Wash hands regularly, cover mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing and put used tissues in the bin immediately. Keep one metre away from those who show cold or flu type symptoms. Essentially, typical responses to prevent flu. Monitor leave and return of staff to and from infected areas to ensure any signs of symptoms are identified before staff return to the office. Staff returning from affected areas to self-isolate for 14 days and refer to NHS 111 website. Staff with cold or flu type symptoms to self-isolate for 14 days if living with others, or 7 days if living alone, and refer to NHS 111 website. Symptoms are fever, new cough and shortness of breath. Only call NHS 111 if symptoms get worse.

Testing transfer of critical functions to second office stepped up and refined. Testing transfer of general functions to home working stepped up and refined. Assess need for additional mobile devices and communication utilities and agree budget.

Level Two INVOKED

Triggered by an upsurge in infected cases, and guided by the WHO and UKCMO, all business travel and meetings with clients and suppliers will cease. Instead, communication will be by phone, email, video conferencing and other electronic means. Advice to staff to stay away from large groups and gatherings, such as concerts, football matches, etc. Hygiene practices to be stepped up, which will include employment of additional cleaning of door handles, desks, phones and equipment. Staff with relatives, friends or associates that are connected with a confirmed case, such as with closed schools, offices, etc., should also self-isolate, and refer to the NHS 111 Website. Home working phased in, starting with high risk staff.

Level Three

Triggered by a confirmed infected case on site and the need to close the office. All critical functions, such as phones, redirection of repair instructions, etc., to be transferred to second office. Home working to be invoked where possible on a temporary basis only, specifically to address this situation. Office to be clearly marked as closed from outside and specialist cleaning to ensure all potential traces of the virus are removed.

Staff from infected office to self-isolate for 14 days and refer to NHS 111 website. Allow "work from home" for those who are in self-isolation. Staff presenting no symptoms after period of self-isolation to return to office once office has been cleaned and signed off.

Staff self-isolating as a preventative measure and not home working will be paid based on government guidelines. Older and vulnerable staff will be given the option to work from home to ensure they are protected as a priority.

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