Our response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
Update on EKFB COVID measures following amended Government guidelines,
4 January 2021
All EKFB workplaces remain open as long as they can continue to operate using our existing local COVID-19 compliant plans.
However, to help contain the virus, we will be strictly limiting the number of people who attend an EKFB workplace to people whose work cannot be done from home or do not have a safe working environment at home. This includes reassessing those people who are currently working from an EKFB workplace.
Only business-critical site and workplace attendance will be allowed to go ahead. It is essential that we limit the number of people that we have on site or in a workplace, in order to contain the virus. However, sites will only be allowed to open if there are enough safety-critical people to staff them.
The safety of our people and communities remains our most important consideration at all times.
How we are protecting our people
EKFB has developed some specific site and office operating procedures that build on the Government guidance and that of the Construction Leadership Council.
This means we have made some changes to the way we work to protect our people and minimise the risk of spreading the infection.
This video explains these guidelines to anyone who is attending one of our sites or offices.
The challenge that Coronavirus (COVID-19) presents has been both unprecedented and devastating for many, and is changing 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 updates on how we are responding to this challenge, what we’re doing to keep our people safe and how our plans are adapting to this constantly changing situation. We have followed and often exceeded the measures advised by the Government to keep our people safe and healthy and maintain business continuity.
You can also find out what our Wellbeing Champions are doing to help our people support each other. They have put together a programme of social and communications activities, from an online virtual coffee shop to fitness and yoga sessions, all online.
Please click the links below to see what we are doing in the following areas:
Since returning to work at the start of 2020 we have 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 has increased, we have 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 are we doing to protect our people and communities?
We are continuing to follow all government advice from Public Health England (see details here)
We have redesigned our office space for essential workers, and everyone who can work from home is working remotely. (See here for our top tips on working remotely)
All site activity and operations comply with the guidelines published by Public Health England.
Every workplace - both sites and offices - have bespoke premises management plans in place that outline all safety measures relevant to each site
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
We have 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
We have a community of ‘Wellbeing Champions’ whose role, in addition to their day jobs, is to provide wellbeing support to our people. They are trained as Mental Health First Aiders and 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 them the tools to care for their wellbeing in a positive working environment.
It is more important than ever to do everything we can to help our people cope with the external situation and give them opportunities to connect with each other. With full support from our Leadership, our Wellbeing Champions have put together the following programme of events:
Virtual coffee shop
Online yoga sessions
Online fitness sessions
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 have moved online. We have virtual ‘Thirsty Thursday’ – a Teams meeting after work to replace our fortnightly social. The EKFB book club has moved its meetings to Teams, and we’re working on a dice based version of five a side football.