COVID-19 Risk Statement
Frank Recruitment Group elected to shut both of its UK offices in mid-March 2020 to protect its employees’ health and safety, as uncertainty about the coronavirus pandemic grew
In short order, the coronavirus became confirmed as a global pandemic by the World Health Organization. Driven by concern for its employees’ health and safety, Frank Recruitment Group’s UK offices remained shut until 27th July 2020. During this nearly five-month period, Frank Recruitment Group expended considerable time and money transforming its workforce from office-based to teleworking. Also, during this same period, the UK saw coronavirus cases and deaths gradually increase, before appearing to turn the corner and decrease steadily and then plateau. More recently, UK Government guidance has changed to ask individuals to work at home if they can successfully and as a result, Frank Recruitment Group has encouraged its employees to do so once again.
Frank Recruitment Group has followed the UK government advice during the entirety of the pandemic. In early July, Frank Recruitment Group conducted an anonymous employee survey to gauge employee need to return to the office. Through this survey, Frank Recruitment Group learned that some employees needed to return to the offices full time, some wanted to split their work week between the office and home and still others wanted to continue to telework full time for the foreseeable future.
Frank Recruitment Group is happy to accommodate this entire spectrum of employee choice. From its nearly 15 years in business in the UK, Frank Recruitment Group knows that it is critical to train and closely manage its newly hired employees so that they can contribute value to the business and increase their own chances of success at Frank Recruitment Group. Frank Recruitment Group cannot meaningfully conduct this training and management over video calls and email – the training and management must be face to face. It was for these reasons that Frank Recruitment Group decided to open its UK offices in July, with social distancing and at reduced capacities, to newly hired employees and those who wanted to return to the offices, although many of these individuals have now resumed working from home in accordance with the revised Government guidance.
As you can see from the risk assessment below, Frank Recruitment Group made significant efforts to open its offices in compliance with all health and safety requirements and with the goal of providing a safe work environment for all of its UK employees.
Frank Recruitment Group takes the safety and wellbeing of its staff, candidates, clients and the third parties working with us very seriously. In line with government requirements, we completed a comprehensive risk assessment for the Group’s UK operations. Frank Recruitment Group is closely following the guidance issued by the Government, the devolved governments in the UK, the Public Health scientific advisors and the World Health Organisation.
Frank Recruitment Group completed comprehensive risk assessments of both of its UK office environments (London and Newcastle) and identified a range of controls to manage the risk of Covid-19 cross-contamination and transmission.
Where the risk of Covid-19 cannot be controlled to an acceptable level we have suspended these activities. As part of the risk assessment process, a number of in-house and landlord generated Covid-19 documentation was completed.
The following areas were risk assessed:
- Office-based operations staff
- Office-based operations – kitchens and breakout areas
- Bathrooms that Frank Recruitment Group is responsible for under our leases and service agreements
- Management of visitors and third party contractors
- Management of postal deliveries and packages
As a result of the risk assessments, Frank Recruitment Group implemented (where reasonably practicable) a range of controls which include:
Where risk of transmission cannot be controlled, the activity has been suspended.
We have provided employees with the flexibility to work on a hybrid basis from either the office or their home, to take account of social distancing, public transport constraints and caring responsibilities. Those employees who are high risk continue to work from home. At the present time, given the change in the UK Government’s current guidance, employees are being encouraged to work from home if they can successfully.
We have suspended travel between our UK offices until further notice.
We have enhanced cleaning, handwashing and hygiene instruction clearly displayed with the office and restroom facilities in line with official guidance.
We have increased our office space cleaning regimes to include high touchpoint, desktops, monitors, mice and chairs.
We have provided on-site hand sanitizer, anti-bacterial wipes and face masks.
We have taken all reasonable steps to maintain a 2m social distance in the workplace. Where social distancing is not always possible, we have put in place measures to manage transmission risk, including limiting the number of employees in certain spaces and one-way flow management systems.
We have deployed social distancing and other safety signage throughout the workplace, kitchens and meeting rooms.
We have provided information, instruction and training to ensure all employees are fully aware of the precautions needed to control transmission and what to do if they or a colleague has a confirmed case of Covid-19 or presents symptoms of Covid-19.
We are working alongside local building management to ensure the safety of our employees in shared areas of the building. Agility in closing one or both of our UK offices if required by government order or if Frank Recruitment Group concludes that the criticality of keeping one or both of the offices open is outweighed by Frank Recruitment Group’s concerns for the health and safety of its employees.
The risk assessments and operational position are reviewed and updated daily by a multi-disciplinary team of managers which includes the Global Head of Property and Facilities to ensure controls are still relevant and being implemented. The output from the assessment is shared with our management team.
Employees are informed of any changes and updates to guidance as and when the guidance from the UK Government changes.
Frank Recruitment Group
St. Nicholas Building, 2nd Floor
St. Nicholas Street
Newcastle upon Tyne