COVID-19: Read our policy See our risk assessment

Introduction

Coronaviruses are a type of virus. There are many different kinds, and some cause disease. A newly identified type has caused a recent outbreak of respiratory illness now called COVID-19.

As of now, researchers know that the new coronavirus is spread through droplets released into the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The droplets generally do not travel more than a few feet, and they fall to the ground (or onto surfaces) in a few seconds — this is why social and physical distancing is effective in preventing the spread.

Purpose

This policy includes the measures we are actively taking to mitigate the spread of coronavirus. You are kindly requested to follow all these rules diligently, to sustain a healthy and safe workplace in this unique environment. It’s important that we all respond responsibly and transparently to these health precautions. We assure you that we will always treat your private health and personal data with high confidentiality and sensitivity.

The essential guidelines employees should follow whilst at work during the coronavirus outbreak including sickness absence, social distancing measures in place and working from home where possible are outlined in this policy.

Scope

This policy applies to all of our employees, any visitors or contractors, to ensure we collectively and uniformly respond to this challenge

Status

This policy does not confer any contractual rights on individual employees and is susceptible to changes with the introduction of additional governmental guidelines.

You will be notified of any changes.

Procedure

These are the required actions employees should take to protect themselves and their co-workers from a potential coronavirus infection.

General hygiene rules:

  • Wash your hands more frequently, especially after using the toilet, before eating, after entering the building and before you enter the production units and if you cough/sneeze into your hands (following the 20-second hand-washing rule)
  • Use the sanitizers provided around the buildings after contacting communal surfaces.
  • Cough/sneeze into a tissue, discard it properly and clean/sanitize your hands immediately.
    Where this is not possible into your sleeve, preferably into your elbow
  • Avoid touching your face, particularly eyes, nose, and mouth with your hands to prevent getting infected

Sick leave arrangements:

  • If you have cold symptoms, such as a new persistent cough, fever/high temperature or a loss of or changes to your normal sense of taste or smell, and feel poorly, you MUST NOT come to work. You MUST stay at home and make arrangements to have a Covid-19 test
  • If you have a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, you must self-isolate for at least 10 days from the start of your symptoms and members of your household should self-isolate for 14 days.
  • If someone in your household has symptoms of COVID-19, you must self-isolate for 14 days or 10 days if you develop your own symptoms
  • You can return to work only after you’ve fully recovered and been off for the required length of time (as stated above)
    • You MUST attend a return to work interview with your line manager, Production Manager or HR Co-ordinator prior to entering the factory. When you are working on early shift, you will start work at 8am on the day you return to work to enable this meeting to take place
  • Sick Pay – The Company Sickness Absence Policy will apply, however, additional SSP is provided by the Government to cover the first 5 days of absence due to Covid-19 symptoms

Covid-19 Test:

You can get a test:

  • For yourself, if you have coronavirus symptoms now (a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste)
  • For someone you live with, if they have coronavirus symptoms
  • If you have been told to have a test prior to surgery for example
  • If you live in an area that has been subject to local lockdown

How to arrange a test:

There are 2 ways of getting a test. You can:

  • Book an appointment at a drive-through or walk-through test site
  • Ask for a home test kit – this is delivered to your home. If you get a home test kit, you will need to do the test and return the kit within 48 hours. Instructions will be provided in the kit.

You can apply for a test on-line using the link provided:

https://www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test

Or by telephoning 119 if you have no internet access

When to apply for a test:

  • The test needs to be done within the first 5 days of having symptoms. DO NOT WAIT, apply for the test as soon as you experience symptoms.
  • If you do NOT have symptoms, you can only get a test if you share your household with a key worker (NHS / care staff) or the hospital has told you to

NHS Test and Trace:

  • ensures that anyone who develops symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) can quickly be tested to find out if they have the virus
  • helps trace close recent contacts of anyone who tests positive for coronavirus and, if necessary, notifies them that they must self-isolate at home to help stop the spread of the virus

If you are contacted by the NHS test and trace service because you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus:

  • You will be legally required to self-isolate for 14 days, even if you do not feel unwell. Members of your household do not need to self-isolate with you if you do not have symptoms.
  • If you develop symptoms you must book a test.

Working on site:

  • Follow social distancing measures in place at all times. This means keeping a distance of 2 metres, wherever possible
  • Where it is not possible to maintain a distance of 2 metres, face coverings are encouraged to be worn. Face coverings should also be worn when you are entering a building you do not usually work in where you could come into contact with colleagues outside your usual work department
  • The number of people using the canteen is limited to two
    • Other areas have been provided for rest breaks (development kitchen, action room, proofing room)
    • Use additional locker room facility provided to reduce numbers of staff in this area
  • Employees are required to clock in at the beginning of their shift as normal, however, during the outbreak, employees are permitted to leave site at the end of their shift without clocking out, therefore reducing a congregation of people waiting at the hand wash entrance and terminal
  • Staff are to be encouraged to take part in remote meetings – gatherings of groups of people are not permitted

Work from home:

  • Where possible, office staff should work from home (to limit the number of staff on site)
  • If you are feeling ill, but you are able to work, you can request to work from home
  • If you’ve been in close contact with someone infected by COVID-19, with high chances of being infected yourself, request to work from home. You will also be asked not to come into physical contact with any colleagues during this time
  • If you’re a parent and you have to stay at home with your children, request to work from home. Follow up with your manager or to make arrangements and set expectations
  • If you need to provide care to a family member infected by COVID-19, request to work from home. You’ll only be permitted to return to the office 14 days after your family member has fully recovered, provided that you’re asymptomatic. You will also be asked not to come into physical contact with any colleagues during this time

Work related travel and accommodation:

  • Employees are asked to avoid using public transport and to drive instead. If using public transport is necessary, wearing a face covering is mandatory.
  • Employees are not to share vehicles where suitable distancing cannot be achieved.
  • Vehicles are to be regularly cleaned and good hygiene practices followed
  • When employees are required to stay away from their home, the overnight accommodation must be fully checked to ensure that they are meeting government guidelines prior to booking.

Holidays abroad:

Whilst Foreign Office advice remains to only travel if essential, current coronavirus regulations state that you must self-isolate for 14 days if you return to the UK from a country outside the common travel area (Great Britain and Ireland).

The UK Government regularly updates the list of countries where it is a requirement to self-isolate for a period of 14 days upon returning from abroad. The list of countries can be found on the following website:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-corridors

We would ask that employees continue to follow the government guidelines when planning personal holidays and if travelling to a country outside the common travel area or a country not included within the travel corridor, to self-isolate for 14 days upon return where required. Please inform your Line Manager or HR Co-ordinator if you are intending to travel outside the UK.

Visitors / Contractors:

  • Visitors and contractors are restricted from visiting company premises without express permission to perform an essential service or carry out emergency maintenance
    • Risk assessment to be carried out prior to arranging visit
    • With consent from visitor, temperature will be taken with digital thermometer prior to entering the factory
  • The general hygiene and social distancing rules above also apply to visitors and contractors
  • Any external site visits required by FFP employees must be approved in advance by the MD/CEO

Cleaning

Additional cleaning measures have been put in place during the outbreak in order to minimise contamination risk, including additional hours between 9am-5pm specifically cleaning contact surfaces (door handles, pallet truck handles, hand wash stations, hand dryers).

Machine operators are required to continue to maintain cleaning of contact surfaces on their machinery eg control panels, computer screens, keyboards etc

Communication

A Company Risk Assessment is available and displayed electronically on BreatheHr and the company website

Posters, leaflets, and other materials are available for display

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19

Regular updates regarding Covid-19 are provided to all employees by the CEO/MD

Outbreak in the Workplace

FFP have an up-to-date plan in place should an outbreak of Covid-19 occur in the workplace.

The Operations Director or HR Co-ordinator [deputy] have been nominated as the point of contact who will inform the local Public Health England team if there is more than one confirmed case and therefore a suspected outbreak.

Commitment

FFP’s commitment is to do everything we possibly can to prevent the spread of coronavirus and minimise infection amongst our workforce.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/factories-plants-and-warehouses