Further to our update on 13 August 2020, we are continuing to work closely with PHE East Midlands, Northamptonshire County Council and Northampton Borough Council to do everything that we can to manage the COVID-19 outbreak at our Northampton site. All those colleagues who have tested positive for the virus are still self-isolating, and our occupational health and HR teams are in close contact with them in order to monitor their welfare. As a precautionary measure we are now retesting all colleagues who previously tested negative. This is taking place at the site, and there has also been a temporary NHS testing centre outside the factory for use by colleagues over the last few days.
In the event that colleagues have had to self-isolate, they have of course continued to be paid in line with the terms of their contract. This ranges from full pay to Statutory Sick Pay, depending on the type of contract. In recognition of the financial impact that those on Statutory Sick Pay are facing, we have decided to give all weekly paid colleagues at the site an additional payment of £400. This is a bonus that would normally be paid based on attendance at the end of the year, but we have decided to waive the usual criteria and give it to all weekly paid colleagues now regardless of their attendance record. This follows on from a recent bonus which averaged £260 per colleague and was paid to all weekly paid front-line staff in order to recognise their huge contribution while lockdown was in place.
We continue to have wide-ranging social-distancing measures, stringent hygiene procedures and regular temperature checking in place at the site, which remains fully operational. We are reassured to note that Public Health England has recently reiterated its assessment that we have “highly effective measures in place” and that we “continue to work extremely hard to exceed the requirements needed to be COVID-19 secure within the workplace”.
We are deeply aware that this is an exceptionally challenging time for everyone connected with the site, and are working round the clock to do everything that we can to reduce the spread of the virus, keep our colleagues safe, and provide support to those who are unwell. As ever, the health and well-being of our colleagues is our number one priority.