COVID-19 Work Place Policy

PURPOSE

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is officially classified as a pandemic and is affecting lives and work around the globe.

It is the policy of The Normandy Hotel to protect the health and safety of employees, and any other persons connected with the operations of the Company, in relation to COVID-19.

This policy outlines the measures the hotel is actively taking to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and what employees can do to assist in our efforts to promote a safe and healthy working environment. While it is the Duty of Management to do everything reasonably practicable to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace, it is equally the duty of employees to exercise personal responsibility to do everything necessary to protect themselves and those who may be affected by their acts or omissions.

The Company has considered the legislative requirements outlined in the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, and any government guidance available in relation to the contents of this policy. The policy may be updated as new information is made available from local health and governmental bodies. Employees will be notified when updates are made as soon as possible.

SCOPE

This policy applies to all employees who are directly employed by The Normandy Hotel  including sub-contractors and visitors. Employees are requested to follow all rules diligently in order to sustain a healthy and safe workplace. It is important to respond responsibly and transparently to these health precautions. The Company will ensure that employee’s health and personal data is treated with confidentiality and sensitivity.

AIMS of the POLICY

The aim of this policy is to:

  • Increase staff awareness of the health issues relating to COVID-19
  • Ensure the risks connected with COVID-19 are assessed
  • Design and implement a safe system of work to reduce the risk as far as is reasonably practicable
  • Ensure appropriate information, instruction and training is available to all employees regarding COVID-19
  • Encourage full reporting and recording of all incidents in relation to COVID-19
  • Take all reasonable steps to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 within the workplace

SYMPTOMS of CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)

The symptoms associated with Coronavirus are:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you have noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

**Please note that these are the recognised symptoms at the time of writing (19th May 2022) and are subject to change therefore employees are asked to keep up to date with any amendments made by the government or National Health Service**

EMPLOYEE WITH SYMPTOMS

Should you, as an employee, have symptoms you are required to isolate straight away and arrange a PCR test via www.nhsinform.scot or by calling 0800 028 2816. You should remain off work until the results become available.

  • If the test result is negative, you should contact Management to arrange a return to work (the Company may ask you to provide evidence of a negative test result)
  • If the test result is positive, the Company will ask you to provide evidence of the test result and you must isolate for 10 days from symptom onset (or longer if certain symptoms persist). You can return to work at the end of the isolation period providing you feel well enough and have been fever-free for least 48 hours

SOMEONE IN AN EMPLOYEE’S HOUSEHOLD HAS SYMPTOMS

Should someone in your household develop symptoms, the Company requires you to stay away from work until they have received a PCR test result:

  • If your household member returns a positive test result, you should book a PCR test and isolate for 10 days from the date they first displayed symptoms
    • If you return a positive PCR test you must isolate for 10 days from the date your household member developed symptoms (if you are asymptomatic) or from the date you became symptomatic
    • During the isolation period you should work from home (on full pay) or advise the Company if medically unfit to do so
  • If your household member returns a negative test result, you can stop isolating and return to the Office providing you are asymptomatic

SELF-ISOLATION

All employees are required to follow ‘Test and Protect’ rules and guidance set out by the government which means you should stay at home if you have symptoms or test positive for COVID-19, even if you have received two doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccination. A failure to isolate could amount to a criminal offence.

Self-isolation means you should remain at home and not go to work, school, public areas or use public transport. Detailed information about the steps you need to take to self-isolate effectively can be found online at NHS Inform.

CONTACT TRACING

Everyone who tests positive for COVID-19 will be put in touch with the local contact tracing team so that other contacts can be identified. A Close Contact is someone who has been physically close enough to a confirmed case for a long enough period of time, that they may have had the virus transmitted to them. The risk of transmission is higher the closer the contact, the greater the exposure to respiratory droplets (e.g. from coughing), and the longer the duration of contact.

If you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you will be notified by NHS Contact Tracers and given specific guidance depending on your vaccination status and age. Employees are required to adhere to (and notify the Company of) any advice given.

An exemption to the self-isolation rules has been introduced for close contacts:

You should get a PCR test as soon as possible. Provided you return a negative PCR test and remain asymptomatic, you may end self-isolation as a close contact and return to work.

If you return a positive test result, you will need to isolate for 10 days.

You may work from home (on full pay) during your isolation, if medically fit to do so.

  • If you are younger than 18 years and 4 months and not yet vaccinated

You should get a PCR test as soon as possible. Provided you return a negative PCR test and remain asymptomatic, you may end self-isolation as a close contact and return to work.

If you return a positive test result, you will need to isolate for 10 days.

You may work from home (on full pay) during your isolation, if medically fit to do so.

  • If you are medically unable to be vaccinated

You should get a PCR test as soon as possible. Provided you return a negative PCR test and remain asymptomatic, you may end self-isolation as a close contact and return to work.

If you return a positive test result, you will need to isolate for 10 days.

You may work from home (on full pay) during your isolation, if medically fit to do so.

Even if you are fully vaccinated, you can still get coronavirus and pass it on to others. Employees who are identified as a close contact but who can end their self-isolation, can help protect others by:

  • Wearing face coverings
  • Maintaining social distancing
  • Cleaning hands and surfaces regularly
  • Working from home if possible

EMPLOYEE AT WORK WITH SYMPTOMS

  • ISOLATE – An employee who develops symptoms at work will be sent home on sick leave (N.B. Management reserve the right to send someone home, on sick leave, if they are suspected to have symptoms)
  • INFORM – The employee will be advised to arrange a test ASAP in advance of a return to work (the guidance above under ‘Employee with Symptoms’ then applies)
  • CLEAN – All areas in which the employee with symptoms has been working will undergo a deep clean and sanitisation. Appropriate cleaning materials and PPE must be used, and it may be necessary to evacuate the area whilst cleaning takes place. Contaminated waste (e.g. cleaning cloths and PPE) will be placed in sealed bags and retained for 72 hours before being disposed of in the general waste.
  • CONTACT TRACING – See above
  • The company will also carry out an internal contact tracing exercise to identify and inform any employees/others who may have been exposed and advise them to seek medical advice regarding a test. The Company will consider:
  • Who was on site (including visitors etc.)
  • Who was on the same shift / in the ‘work bubble’ of the employee who has tested positive
  • If social distancing / hygiene measures were maintained
  • The frequency / duration of contact with other workers
  • If mitigation instructions were carried out appropriately
  • If there were any potential breaches in mitigation measures which would increase the risk of exposure
  • If immediate action was taken (e.g. deep clean) following notification of positive test

SICK PAY

If the employee can work from home (and is medically fit to do so) the Company will accommodate this, and the employee can continue getting full pay. If, working from home is not possible, the employee will be entitled to Company Sick Pay (if applicable) or SSP.

The 3 waiting days do not apply in relation to Covid-19, SSP will be paid retrospectively from day 1.

MITIGATION MEAURES

The Company has implemented a number of mitigation measures in an attempt to limit the exposure of employees and others to COVID-19. Employees are asked to fully co-operate with the Company in adhering to any such measures.

Coming to and Leaving Work

Due to the layout and the numbers working in the office, congestion is uncommon at starting and finishing time. The Company asks that all staff are mindful of social distancing on entering and leaving the workplace.

Social Distancing

All employees are required to follow the practice of social distancing and therefore avoid physical contact with each other where it is not necessary and, where possible, must maintain a safe distance from others whilst carrying out duties on the premises.

Where, in relation to a particular activity, a social distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained, it may be necessary to reduce the social distance to 1 metre. Where this is unavoidable, the Company will ask you to implement additional risk mitigations, for example:

  • Further increasing the frequency of hand washing and surface cleaning
  • Keeping the activity time involved as short as possible
  • Using back-to-back or side-to-side working (rather than face-to-face) wherever possible
  • Reducing the number of people each person has contact with by using ‘fixed teams or partnering’ or ‘work bubbles’
  • Using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) where appropriate

Shared offices are arranged to allow social distancing.

Meetings

To reduce transmission due to face-to-face meetings and to maintain social distancing in gatherings, the Company has implemented the following steps:

  • In-person meetings are avoided where possible. Telephone calls, e-mails, remote tools (e.g. Zoom, Teams) are used where feasible
  • Only absolutely necessary participants are permitted to physically attend meetings and should maintain social distancing guidelines (2m, or 1m with risk mitigation where 2m is not viable)
  • Sharing of equipment is avoided
  • Rooms are well ventilated
  • Hand sanitiser is provided
  • All meetings take place in the Meeting Hub

Cleaning

The Company will ensure that the regularity with which the premises are cleaned is adequate to prevent transmission of COVID-19. The Company has engaged the services of an external cleaning company to carry out thorough cleaning as required. Frequent touchpoints (e.g. door handles, light switches, handrails) are covered in the scope of the cleaning schedule.

Employees are also asked to:

  • Bag and bin of their own waste at the end of each day
  • Wipe down their workstation at the start and end of shift
  • Wipe shared equipment (e.g. printers etc.) before and after use.

A deep clean and sanitisation will be carried out after a known or suspected case of COVID-19 (as detailed in ‘Employee at Work with Symptoms’).

Hygiene: Handwashing, Sanitisation and Toilets

The Company encourages all employees to practice good hygiene throughout the working day by:

  • Using signs and posters to build awareness of good handwashing technique, the need to increase handwashing frequency, avoid touching your face and the need to cough or sneeze into a tissue which is binned safely (or your arm if a tissue is not available)
  • Providing regular reminders and signage to maintain hygiene standards
  • Providing hand sanitisers at various locations in addition to washrooms
  • Setting clear use and cleaning guidance for toilets to ensure they are kept clean and social distancing is achieved as much as possible
  • Enhancing cleaning for busy areas
  • Providing waste facilities and frequent rubbish collections
  • Providing adequate toilet facilities (including introduction of additional toilet block)
  • Providing hand drying facilities and facilities for disposing of paper towels
  • Keeping the facilities well ventilated

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

The risk of COVID-19 transmission in the Office will be managed through social distancing, increased hygiene, and reduced staff interaction. If however a situation arises where social distancing cannot be maintained, PPE may be necessary. The Company will advise when this is required.

Employees are required to wear face masks on leaving the office to walk through all areas of the Business Centre.

Information, Instruction and Training

The content of this policy is subject to change in line with government or NHS guidance.  The Company aims to keep you updated with anything that may impact the above by appropriate means.

GUESTS WITH SYMPTOMS

If a guest develops symptoms of Covid-19, they should notify the Hotel Manager and seek medical advice by contacting the local authorities.

The guest should isolate from others, including fellow guests. If the guest cannot be isolated or staff need to enter the room, the ill person should put on a medical mask, and the people nearby should also wear a mask. If the medical mask cannot be tolerated by the ill person, then he or she should cough or sneeze into a bent elbow or use tissues to cover the mouth and discard the tissue immediately into a closed waste bag.

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