I am sure, like me, you will be both reassured but also potentially concerned about the lockdown that has come into place following the Prime Minister’s announcement last night.
It is clear that the imposed lockdown is a step that is needed to further control the spread of this terrible virus and it is vital that we all do what we can to support it and help protect everyone as much as possible. That said, I know many of you will also be worried about what it means in terms of working, sorting childcare, protecting vulnerable family members and staying safe yourselves.
As we have done throughout the pandemic, we will continue to follow the Government rules and guidance regarding staying at home. We realise that for many of our colleagues this is not an option and that as key workers you need to come into our sites and depots to carry out your work. However, as of today, any Greencore colleagues who can work from home must do so except on occasions where attendance at site is necessary for business and operational continuity. As you know, we have had and continue to get positive feedback from both Public Health England and local authorities about the steps and processes we have put in place to keep our people safe. We will continue to do everything we can to keep our workplaces safe and COVID-19 secure.
We will be reissuing key worker letters over the course of the next few days, to all colleagues who need these – be that for evidence to get your children into childcare with schools or to show to the authorities who may, over the coming days, reintroduce road checks etc for those travelling to and from work. Please speak to your local HR team who will be able to help you with these.
I know some of you have already been asking questions about the implications of trying to sort childcare while schools are closed. If you are unable to sort alternative childcare and this has an implication on your availability to work, please discuss this with your local HR team to understand how we can support you. The GroceryAid helpline is also available 24/7 on 08088 021 122 if you feel you need emotional or practical support. GroceryAid may also be able to provide financial support to parents who are concerned they may not have the right IT tools to help with online learning.
With the announcement only being made yesterday evening, we are still assessing how this will impact demand for our products and what any implications from this might have on the business. It is likely that as part of our plans to protect the business, we will once again make use of the Government furlough scheme and we will communicate more about this where it is relevant. Of course, we will continue to do all we can to support any of our colleagues who we do need to furlough.
Please remember that if you or any member of your household has coronavirus symptoms, you must self-isolate, inform your manager and book a test as soon as possible. Further guidance on this is available here. Anyone who has to take time off work due to COVID-19 will be required to do this on their usual terms and conditions.
Finally, it remains vital that we all continue to follow social distancing guidance both inside and outside of work – keep your distance, wash and sanitise hands regularly and wear face coverings or visors where these are now mandatory.
Thank you for all your ongoing hard work and dedication through this difficult time. Collectively we are doing a great job of working together to keep our people safe, to keep Britain fed and to protect our business for the future. You can read more information from the Government on the national lockdown here.
Please continue to look out for and support each other and if you have any queries or concerns, please raise them with your manager, your local HR or Health and Safety teams or to me directly.
Chief People Officer