Our response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

Update on EKFB COVID measures following amended Government guidelines,

16 August 2021

 

As of the 16th August 2021 we have removed restrictions across our sites, but we will continue to:

  • Clean our offices and sites regularly

  • Make sanitiser and cleaning wipes readily available

  • Promote ventilating enclosed work areas

  • Offer Lateral Flow testing until at least October

  • Encourage every person working with us to wash their hands regularly and observe basic, courteous hygiene

 

The safety of our people and communities remains our most important consideration at all times and we are committed to providing workplaces where our people are knowingly safe.

 
 
 

Introduction

The challenge that Coronavirus (COVID-19) presented has been both unprecedented and devastating for many, and changed how we live and work.

At EKFB, our position is that the safety, health and wellbeing of our people is always our priority and will never be compromised.

On this page, you can see how we responded to this challenge, what we did to keep our people safe and how we adapted our plans to this constantly changing situation. We followed and often exceeded the measures advised by the Government to keep our people safe and healthy and maintain business continuity.

Our approach 

Since returning to work at the start of 2020 we kept a watching brief on the Coronavirus situation. In mid January when it became clear it was escalating, we convened our Business Continuity Group to meet weekly and assess our response to the changing situation.

We have followed Government advice since the beginning of the escalation, including anticipating future advice, where we have taken action in advance. For example, we mandated that all employees who could, should work from home very early in the process.

As the pace of events increased, we replaced Business Continuity meetings with twice daily online meetings of the Senior Leadership Team to review the continuously changing situation and determine actions to be taken. 

What we did to protect our people and communities? 

  • We followed all government advice from Public Health England (see details here

  • We redesigned our office space for essential workers, and enabled everyone who can work from home to work remotely.

  • The implementation of remote working was highly successful and supported by existing systems such as Microsoft Teams and policies like our Working Practices Policy

  • All of our remote workers have been trained in the effective use of the business tools available to them

  • All of our site activity and operations complied with the guidelines published by Public Health England.

  • Every workplace - both sites and offices - had bespoke premises management plans in place that outlined all safety measures relevant to each site

  • We introduced a package of measures to keep track of our people's health and wellbeing and to support them through this period. This includes our Employee Assistance Programme and empowering our Wellbeing Champions to monitor and maintain our people's wellbeing

 

Wellbeing activities at EKFB during lockdown

We have a community of ‘Wellbeing Champions’ whose role, in addition to their day jobs, is to provide wellbeing support to our people. They support colleagues to spot the symptoms of mental health issues, offer initial help and guide people towards support. However, their main focus is not simply to react to existing issues, but to help our people to take positive steps to prevent mental health issues in the first place, giving them the tools to care for their wellbeing in a positive working environment.

During this time, it was more important than ever for EKFB to do everything we could to help our people cope with the external situation and give them opportunities to connect with each other. With full support from our Leadership Team, our Wellbeing and EDI Champions put together the following programme of events during lockdown: 

  • Virtual coffee shop 

  • Online yoga sessions 

  • Online fitness sessions 

  • Weekly quiz 

  • Virtual swap shop 

  • Bite size learning sessions in managing wellbeing 

  • Wellbeing/EDI Champions telephone staff contact 

  • Wellbeing info email 

  • Online Language lessons 

  • Online mindfulness sessions 

We’ve always had a busy social life at EKFB and many of our social activities moved online. We had virtual ‘Thirsty Thursday’ – a Teams meeting after work to replace our fortnightly social and the EKFB book club has moved its meetings to Teams.