People are at the heart of everything we do at Montagu Evans, and with this comes a responsibility to look after the health and safety of our people, our clients and the wider community around us.
All will be aware of the concerns around coronavirus and the potential for its further spread in the UK. We feel strongly that we wouldn’t be staying true to our values if we didn’t pay close attention to the advice from Public Health England, the ECDC and the WHO to ensure we are working in a way that puts the health, safety and wellbeing of our people, their families and our clients first.
We have therefore outlined a preventative plan that focusses on the following areas:
- How best to protect client and staff interaction whilst remaining operational
- Responding to regional and local outbreaks
- Ensuring minimum disruption and risk to you and our business
As of today, we have issued the following guidance:
We want our people to have confidence that they can safeguard their own health while recognising the critical role we play for our clients:
- All non-essential business travel should be reviewed and postponed/cancelled if appropriate.
- “Essential” is defined as work relating to live client matters and active business matters.
- All travel/business meetings should be discussed within teams and with respective clients to determine if it is essential. We are keen to collaborate with our clients on this and would encourage enhanced communication (such as video conferencing and phone calls) as we all continue to work in these challenging times.
- Those attending large national/regional events are advised that this is considered to be “non-essential” to the business and therefore we advise not to attend.
- Our people are not required to travel if they have concerns about doing so, and we ask our clients to not do anything they feel uncomfortable with. We also recognise that our clients may also not wish to feel obligated to travel. We encourage open and honest communication to review and agree sensible next steps.
We are providing the following guidance on conducting business across our offices:
- To ensure that we support our culture of inclusion, all meetings should be enabled for remote participation via Webex in case people do not feel comfortable attending in person.
- Meeting organisers are encouraged to determine whether remote participation is appropriate for the meeting.
- Teams will be reviewed to ensure business continuity should someone become unwell or are in self-isolation. Risk will be regularly reviewed when attending essential meetings.
- For those that are taking place, clients will be directed straight to meeting rooms. We are also encouraging consideration and respect for those not wanting to shake hands at the moment.
- Hand sanitisers will be provided in all rooms to minimize the risk.
- If Montagu Evans are hosting events we will be taking a measured view as to whether to postpone, and will provide further communication.
WORKING FROM HOME
Everyone at Montagu Evans have laptops and mobile phones provided. They can access files remotely and are setup for conferencing and video facilities. We are an agile firm that can be contacted from any location with WIFI. Individuals therefore are able to work from home if:
- They are sick or feeling sick with any of the following main symptoms of COVID-19:
- Shortness of breath
- Their immune system is compromised
- A member of their household is sick, and they need to provide care
- Their child’s school is closed, and they need to provide childcare
- They have had contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19
OUR GENERAL APPROACH
The unpredictable nature of this outbreak leaves us with little option but to respond to changing conditions in a level-headed way, to not panic and to take advice from health bodies and the government.
Our technology enables us to work in an agile way – based anywhere at any time. Everyone is being asked to take their laptops home each day in case guidance changes and they are not able to attend their normal place of work. Business continuity and client care is a priority for us.
In the meantime we are doing all we can to ensure our teams are taking precautionary measures. Our priority is, as always, to ensure the protection and safety of our people and our clients, and we continue to mitigate risk as much as possible.
So please ensure you are open and clear with us as we will be with you, as we navigate this challenging time together.