COVID 19 info

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak show home visits are by appointment only.

The Scottish Government guidance on construction and home moves allow our operations to safely continue at this time.  This means that our sales offices and sites are open.  All care has been taken to ensure our sales offices are safe for both customers and our staff.

In line with Government guidelines, non-essential work within a home can now resume. Items already reported will be reviewed/attended to and our After Sales team will be in touch, if they haven’t already, with more information and specific timescales.  As we have been unable to attend to remedial works for an extended period of time, there are a number of jobs outstanding. We kindly ask for your continued patience while we reschedule works. 


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COVID-19 updates from Chief Executive, Innes Smith

04.05.2022 - COVID-19 Action Plan Update 72

Hi all,

The Scottish Government has published more new guidance announcing more changes to testing, self-isolation and contact tracing.  The timing of these changes work well with our full return to office working this month and life is returning to normal.  I appreciate that it is difficult to keep up to date with the rules and the way they now affect different age groups however I would encourage you to try and make sense of the guidance and how it applies to you.

Testing & Self-isolation

From 1st May, the symptoms of Covid-19 have been updated and you can view them here.  The general public are no longer required to take Covid-19 tests.  Tests are no longer available for free and all testing centres will be closing down.  

Although testing is no longer a requirement, If you have already tested positive (either via a PCR or LFD) the Scot Govt advises you to follow the revised guidance to ‘stay at home’ for 5 days if you are over 18 years, or 3 days if you are 18 years and under.  The way to count these days has also changed. Day 1 is the day after you took your test or from symptom onset (whichever was earliest).  

Self-isolation has also come to an end.  If you do have symptoms of Covid-19, a fever or are too unwell to carry out normal activities or attend work, the Scottish Government’s advice is to stay at home and avoid contact with other people until these symptoms pass.  

With all of this in mind, we are returning to normal absence procedures for those who are unable to attend the workplace.  For those who can work from home, please speak to your manager if you suspect you have Covid symptoms but feel well enough to work.

Contact Tracing

From 1st May, contact tracing is also coming to an end and the Protect Scotland App will be closed down.  Therefore if you are in close contact with someone who is feeling unwell or tests positive for Covid-19 you are no longer required to test or self-isolate.

If you were previously identified as a close contact or are mid-way through a self-isolation period, you do not need to carry out any testing and you may leave isolation if you feel well. If you later develop a temperature or feel unwell with respiratory symptoms, Scot Govt advises that you should follow the revised guidance to ‘stay at home’.

I would like to thank you for your patience and positive attitudes throughout the Pandemic.  It really is incredible how well you have all adjusted to the many changes in guidance on the ways in which we could work.  Well done and thank you.

Take care

Innes

19.04.2022 - COVID-19 Action Plan Update 71

Dear All,

I hope you are well. 

The Scottish Government has confirmed that the legal requirement to wear a face covering in most indoor public spaces (including workplaces, offices and tradespeople working in people’s homes) and on public transport becomes guidance from today.

It’s really positive that today we see further Covid restrictions easing as we transition back to normality.

We will not be issuing or offering any specific guidance on mask wearing or social distancing, this will be your personal choice.  If you wish to still wear a mask at this time, please feel free to do so.  I would request that any of our employees entering customers houses, specifically from our aftersales team, ask the customer if they would like them to wear a mask before entering the house and respect their preference.

We will now revert back to our pre-covid procedures and this update supersedes previous Covid SOP versions that have been in place throughout the pandemic.

I would like to thank you all for your commitment to working through these restrictions and we will continue to operate and manage our sites safely going forward and encourage you to be careful.

Please continue to follow the latest advice in relation to testing, which are largely unchanged. We expect further changes at the end of the month and will advise accordingly.

Take care

Innes

26.01.2022 - COVID-19 Action Plan Update 70

Hi All,

I am sure you will all have heard the news yesterday that the Scottish Government has announced a return to office working.  This is great news for the company and I know individually many of you will be excited to receive that green light.

From Monday 31 January the default position for office based staff across the Group should be to work from the office.  As a transition, during February, employees should aim to be in the office three days each week.  However, if for practical or personal reasons employees would prefer to return to the office full-time then they are welcome to.  In addition, If you have been based out on site, for example a QS working a certain amount of time from the site office, we would encourage this arrangement to continue.

As this is now a formal return to work I would like to see normal business dress re-introduced.  I won’t be adding bouncers to the door to police this but please use your common sense and apply the ‘smart’ versus ‘casual’ test to your wardrobe depending on what meetings you have on that day.

Prior to the pandemic we were a flexible employer and that is not going to change now we can formally return to the office.  If employees working in any role within the Group need flexibility in the way they work to accommodate caring arrangements or special circumstances then, as before, we will do what we can to support you.  Please direct any formal flexible working requests to HR who have developed a form for employees to complete.

We are proud that since the onset of the Pandemic we have had no material spreads of Covid within our workplaces.  What we have been doing has worked so please continue to keep your distance, to wash your hands and to wear masks where needed.

Take care,

Innes

 

06.01.2022 - Test and Protect Update

Hi and Happy New Year to everyone,

Following yesterday’s Scottish Government update, we have updated the self-isolation guidance for employees.

Please familiarise yourself with the information below.  Any questions, please get in touch with a member of HR or your Manager.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Self-isolation guidance for Employees

The main symptoms of coronavirus are a new continuous cough, fever or loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste.

What should I do if I become unwell with Coronavirus symptoms at work?

  • Notify your Manager that you feel unwell and leave work to self-isolate straight away. Wear a face covering on route (available from your Site Manager or the H&S dept.) and avoid public transport. 
  • Anyone with one of the main 3 symptoms of coronavirus should book a PCR test immediately.  
  • Visit www.nhsinform.scot to arrange to get tested. If you can’t get online, call 0800 028 2816.
  • Until you have been tested and told if it is safe to leave home, you should not come to work.

What happens if I test positive for Coronavirus?

  • Please contact a member of HR to discuss your result.
  • If you have recorded a positive lateral flow test result, you do not have to go for a PCR test. You should report the result on www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result
  • You must, by law, self-isolate immediately and you will be advised of this period by NHS Test and Protect and in line with current Government advice.
  • NHS contact tracers will interview you and get in touch with people you have been in close contact with.
  • You may be able to end self-isolation early if you have 2 consecutive negative lateral flow device test results from day 6 onwards, taken 24 hours apart. You should also make sure you have not had a high temperature in the last 48 hours.
  • Towards the end of your isolation period please contact your line manager to discuss your return to work*.

What if the test is negative?

  • Please contact your Manager to discuss your return to work*.

I have been informed by an NHS contact tracer that I have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive. What should I do?

  • Please provide your Manager with a copy of the notification from Test and Protect and confirmation of your vaccination status.
  • If you are a close contact who is fully vaccinated, you can take daily LFD tests instead of self-isolating. Fully vaccinated means you have received 2 doses of an approved vaccine, plus your booster dose at least 14 days before you last saw the person who tested positive. 
  • If you are not fully vaccinated, you should self-isolate for 10 days and book a PCR test. Even if your test is negative, you should complete the 10 day self-isolation. You will be advised of the specific period by NHS Test and Protect and in line with current Government advice.

Towards the end of your isolation period please contact your line manager to discuss your return to work*.

Who may be classed as a close contact?

There are 2 types of close contact of someone who has tested positive for coronavirus: household and non-household contacts. 

  • Household contact:  those who share the household or have spent a significant amount of time in the house without social distancing or PPE. 
  • Non-household contact: those who have had face-face contact less than 1 metre apart for any length of time, have had any contact less than 1 metre apart for 1 minute or longer, have been within 2 metres for more than 15 minutes or car shared with the person who has tested positive.  

I live with someone who has symptoms or who has tested positive.

  • You must not attend work while the person in your household is awaiting a PCR test result or has tested positive on a lateral flow device.
  • If the person with symptoms receives a negative PCR result, everyone in the household can end isolation and you can return to work.*
  • If the person with symptoms tests positive, and you are fully vaccinated, you can take daily LFD tests instead of self-isolating. Fully vaccinated means you have received 2 doses of an approved vaccine, plus your booster dose at least 14 days before you last saw the person who tested positive. 
  • If you are not fully vaccinated, you should self-isolate for 10 days and book a PCR test. Even if your test is negative, you should complete the 10 day self-isolation. You will be advised of the specific period by NHS Test and Protect and in line with current Government advice. Towards the end of your isolation period please contact your line manager to discuss your return to work*.

*Before you return to work you should contact your Manager who will arrange a “return to work” telephone interview with you. You should not return to work before this time. 

Please also ensure you advise of any travel plans abroad to your line manager and the HR department in advance of travelling.

Support available

If you are not exempt from self-isolation, please request a Self-Isolation note from NHS inform and email HR through a copy as soon as possible. 

You may be eligible for a £500 self-isolation support grant if you are unable to work. If you have tested positive on a LFD test, you need a confirmatory positive PCR test result to apply for the grant. Visit www.mygov.scot/self-isolation-grant to check if you qualify and how to apply.

The national assistance helpline for those who have to stay at home but cannot get the help they need through friends or family is 0800 111 4000.

Springfield HR Contact Details

Sarah Cantlay | HR Administrator (Elgin) | sarah.cantlay@springfield.co.uk| 07501 215 512

Cara Dent | HR Administrator (Elgin) | cara.dent@springfield.co.uk | 07501 218 137

Charlotte Gray | HR Assistant (Elgin) | charlotte.gray@springfield.co.uk | 07501 262 839

Diane Kemp | Group HR Manager (Elgin) | diane@springfield.co.uk | 07495 178 262

Jaide Johnston | Group HR Manager (Larbert) | jaide.johnston@springfield.co.uk | 07794 050 194

Kind regards,

Heather Henderson

Group HR Director

heather@springfield.co.uk

15.12.2021 - Test and Protect Update

Dear all,

I refer to our COVID-19 update dated 13th December and provide updated Test & Protect information HERE.

Employees must not attend work until you have spoken to HR or your Manager under any of these circumstances:

•             if you have symptoms;

•             you have booked a test;

•             you are awaiting a test result;

•             you have been identified as a close contact (until possible exemptions have been verified);

•             you live with someone who is either awaiting a test result, has symptoms or has tested positive.

In any of these circumstances you should talk to your Manager about your ability to work from home, otherwise self-isolation continues to be treated as sickness absence.

Kind regards,

Diane

13.12.2021 - COVID-19 Action Plan Update 69

Dear all,

Following the First Minister’s update on 10th December about the renewed and severe challenge in the shape of the Omicron variant, we need to reinforce and tighten our protection where we can.

Face coverings

We must do everything we can to cut the much greater and faster transmissibility of this new variant by continuing to wear a face covering where social distancing is more difficult and the virus could easily pass between people. This includes when working inside properties under construction, travelling together in company vans and in site communal areas such as toilets, canteens and site offices.  If you are visiting any of our office premises for essential purposes please ensure that you are wearing a mask upon entry and keep it on while you are walking around, in shared spaces or meeting rooms.

Safe Operating Procedures

Please ensure that you all continue to follow our Covid-19 safe operating procedures including keeping at least 2 metres away from each other, maintaining high standards of hand hygiene, and making sensible choices when it comes to undertaking tasks with others. (Version 10 currently being updated and will be issued shortly). These measures remain the best way of managing the Covid-19 risk in our workplace. 

Vaccinations

We are obviously still very keen to have all employees immunised as soon as possible, including a booster dose to help improve the protection you have from your first 2 doses of the vaccine.  All 30-39 year olds are able to book their appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine booster from today through the NHS Inform website.  Appointments must be booked at least 12 weeks after a second dose however anyone with a confirmed case of the virus since receiving a vaccine should wait four weeks from testing positive to receive their booster.  The online portal will be extended to enable 18-29 year olds to book booster vaccinations later in the week.  We will grant paid time off for those attending vaccination/booster appointments.

Testing and self-isolation

Lastly, the rules on self-isolation for household contacts has changed.  If you are identified as a household contact of a positive COVID-19 case, you should self-isolate for 10 days - irrespective of vaccination status, PCR test result and age.  If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms you should self-isolate immediately and take a PCR test.  If you do not have symptoms, you can order rapid lateral flow tests for regular testing at home. Further information on this for employees and managers to follow shortly.

We will continue to monitor the Scottish Government briefings for any changes to guidance that affects our operations and will update you with anything of significance.  In the meantime please pay particular attention to your own behaviour to maximise our protection and reduce the spread where possible.  

Take care.

Heather & Ken 

24.09.2021 - COVID-19 Action Plan Update 68

Dear All,

This week has been an enjoyable week getting to see a number of you face to face through dedicated Managers meetings and also a session with the Group Directors.  For anyone I’ve missed I hope to catch up with you soon.

The focus of discussions has been a return to office working and its clear to me that most of you are enjoying the transition back.  We gain so much through physical presence at our working environments, not just office banter but gaining knowledge and being readily available for opportunities.  Impromptu meetings are a favourite of mine that I’ve really missed during the pandemic.  

Most teams have adopted a three days in, two days at home schedule as part of the transition.  That approach is useful at managing office capacity whilst Covid levels are so high.  However, with such a high proportion of the country, including our workforce, now vaccinated it’s becoming less of a worry when we do hear about someone testing positive. 

It’s worth mentioning that there are a lot of bad colds doing the rounds just now and I’d ask you to be sensible about coming to the office with a snotty nose.  I’d also encourage people across the business with cold type symptoms to rule out coronavirus by getting a PCR test as soon as possible.

At work we should continue to follow the self-isolation guidance and please refer to your manager if you have any questions about specific circumstances.  A negative PCR and being double jabbed for the correct period of time allows those who have been in contact with someone with coronavirus to come out of isolation but we can use discretion where employees have particular concerns.  We are also keen to keep communication open about staff who have tested positive to ensure any close contacts within the workplace can be notified.  We will seek permission from the individual to allow us to do that. 

To those out on sites, in our sales offices and our kit factory where physical presence has been required throughout, please keep doing what you are doing.  You have set a fantastic example of working safely and productively during all of this.  

Take care

Innes

13.08.2021 - COVID-19 Action Plan Update 67

Hi all,

Further to our update on Monday, we are currently reviewing the existing Standard Operating Procedures on our construction sites and timber factory in line with Scottish Government guidance and will communicate this as soon as the review is completed.

Many thanks 

Innes

13.08.2021 - Test and Protect Update

Hi,

I hope you are all well.

Below details the newly updated Test and Protect guidance around self-isolation which are now in operation.

Please read through this information and should you have any questions, please feel free to contact HR (contact details below).

Many thanks

Heather and Ken

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Self-isolation guidance for Employees

The main symptoms of coronavirus are a new continuous cough, fever or loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste.

What should I do if I become unwell with Coronavirus symptoms at work?

  • Notify your Manager that you feel unwell and leave work to self-isolate straight away. Wear a face covering on route (available from your Site Manager or the H&S dept.) and avoid public transport. 
  • Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus should book a PCR test.  You should get tested in the first 3 days of symptoms appearing, although testing is effective until day 5. 
  • Visit www.nhsinform.scot to arrange to get tested. If you can’t get online, call 0800 028 2816.
  • Until you have been tested and told if it is safe to leave home, you should not come to work.

What happens if I test positive for Coronavirus?

  • Please contact a member of HR to discuss your result.
  • You must, by law, self-isolate immediately for 10 days and you will be advised of this period by NHS Test and Protect and in line with current Government advice.
  • NHS contact tracers will interview you and get in touch with people you have been in close contact with.
  • If you feel well enough after 10 days, and have not had a high temperature for 48 hours (without taking any medicines to treat a high temperature) you can return to work*. 

What if the test is negative?

  • Please contact your Manager to discuss your return to work*.

I have been informed by an NHS contact tracer that I have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive. What should I do?

  • If you are contacted at work please notify your Manager, self-isolate immediately and arrange a PCR test as soon as possible. 
  • If you have not been double vaccinated, you must self-isolate immediately for 10 days from the last date of contact with the positive case.
  • If you have been double vaccinated (and 2 weeks have passed since receiving the second dose), are asymptomatic and have returned a negative PCR test you do not need to self-isolate.  You must provide proof of your negative PCR test and communicate your vaccination status to your Manager before you return to work.

Who is classed as a close contact?

A close contact is defined as a person who, in the infectious period from 48 hours prior to and 10 days after the confirmed person’s symptom onset, or date a positive test was taken if asymptomatic, had at least one of the following types of exposure:

  • Household contact:  those who share the household or have spent a significant amount of time in the house without social distancing or PPE. 
  • Direct contact:  close contact outside the house without PPE, of within one metre of the positive case.
  • Proximity contact:  close contact without PPE for more than 15 minutes between 1 and 2 metres of the positive case.

I live with someone who has symptoms or who has tested positive.

  • Please follow advice above for those who have been told by the NHS they have been in close contact with someone who has coronavirus and self-isolate immediately.
  • If the person with symptoms tests negative, everyone in your household can end isolation and you can return to work.*

Please note:  Different rules are in place for any employees under 18 or medically unable to be vaccinated.  Please contact HR if any of these situations arise.

If you are not exempt from self-isolation, please request a Self-Isolation note from NHS inform and email HR through a copy as soon as possible.

*Before you return to work you should contact your Manager who will arrange a “return to work” telephone interview with you. You should not return to work before this time. 

IMPORTANT HR CONTACT DETAILS

Sarah Cantlay | HR Administrator (Elgin) | sarah.cantlay@springfield.co.uk| 07921 224 436

Cara Dent | HR Administrator (Elgin) | cara.dent@springfield.co.uk | 07880 341 184

Charlotte Gray | HR Assistant (Elgin) | charlotte.gray@springfield.co.uk | 07732 398 462

Diane Kemp | Group HR Manager (Elgin) | diane@springfield.co.uk | 07495 178 262

Jaide Johnston | Group HR Manager (Larbert) | jaide.johnston@springfield.co.uk | 07794 050 194

Lauren McLaughlin | HR Advisor (Larbert) | lauren.mclaughlin@springfield.co.uk |  

09.08.2021 - COVID-19 Action Plan Update 66

Hi all,

Today, Scotland has moved beyond Level 0 of the COVID-19 level system and as such, there is a lot of information and new guidance being published.

Whilst we await and review this information, we will continue with our current practices this week and will be updating our Site Operating Procedures in the coming days.

Working from home will also continue for the month of August as per Scottish Government guidance.  I am however relaxed about employees working from the office where this is their preference at this time.

New guidance on self-isolation has also been published and we will update you with new Test and Protect procedures in the coming days. In the meantime, I would remind you to contact a member of the HR team when you have had your vaccinations.

I would like thank you for your commitment to our COVID-19 procedures in order to safeguard each other and your families.  Things are looking positive.

Take care

Innes

09.07.2021 - COVID-19 Action Plan Update 65

Hi all,

I hope you are all keeping well.

The vaccine rollout continues to gather pace throughout Scotland which is really positive.  

I am however writing to stress the importance of us all continuing to adhere to the guidance that has been issued by the Scottish Government.  In particular, whilst we are at work:

  • The current official guidance states that if you can work from home you should continue to do so, if you do have to come into the office please ensure you maintain the protocols that have been put in place and previously communicated to you.
  • The Safe Operating Procedure (SOP) v9 that was issued covering all of our site operations is still valid and should be adhered to at all times.  Please speak to your Manager if you require a copy of this document.

If we continue to follow this guidance we can ensure we are doing all we can to keep ourselves and our families safe. We want to keep the spread of the virus and cases of self-isolation to a minimum.  To reiterate, in any cases of self-isolation,  your Manager will discuss with you your ability to work from home, otherwise self-isolation continues to be treated as sickness absence. 

Please also remember to do the following:

  • Maintain 2m social distancing;
  • Wear face coverings;
  • Keep your hands washed and use sanitizer.

I am currently being asked questions about the inevitable return from home to office working.  Until we get further guidance from the government, please continue to speak to your manager about the guidelines.

Take care in the meantime.

Innes

07.05.2021 - COVID-19 Action Plan Update 64

Hi All, 

I am sure everyone will be well aware of the high number of coronavirus cases currently being reported in the North.

In response, NHS Grampian has reported that they are accelerating the vaccination programme for 18-39 year olds in the area.  If this affects you please keep your eye on your mobile as its likely to be a call you receive.  If you are invited to attend a vaccination centre please accept the appointment without hesitation even if it affects your working day.  

Whilst there is no evidence of risk on our sites, in Moray where Springfield is known as a major employer, it’s particularly important that we’re doing our bit to stop the spread and I would urge you to be particularly careful at this time.  We would not want places of work to be perceived as contributing to the spread that risks a full region being held in level three.

As well as strictly following guidance, with regard to face coverings, hand washing and social distancing, please take advantage of the various options available for testing.  Even if you are without symptoms you can use lateral flow tests to give you that extra assurance before going out and about.  As explained last week these tests can be ordered in packs of 7, free of charge, online.  There’s also the option to attend one of the local test centres and request lateral flow devices that you can take away.  Please click here for further information and to click through to order tests.

With a rate four times the Scotland-wide level, the focus of this update is on Moray.  However, we should all take this as a lesson not to become complacent.  We may feel safer with things opening up and the high rate of vaccinations administered but coronavirus has not gone away and a spread could very quickly creep up on us.

Take care

Innes 

30.04.2021 - COVID-19 Action Plan Update 63

Dear All, 

As you may recall we were keen to participate in schemes in Moray and Fife to bring asymptomatic testing to our local sites. We have been unable to progress this due to the encouraging number of community asymptomatic test locations opening across Scotland and Local Authorities only deploying mobile testing units to areas which are indicating higher rates of infection. 

The good news is provision has now been made in various ways across the country for anyone without coronavirus symptoms looking to get a quick test.

Rapid Lateral Flow Devices can be ordered free of charge to be delivered to your home address.  They come in packs of 7 and can be ordered daily if required by your household.  As mentioned above, there are also a number of community asymptomatic test centres open in Local Authorities across Scotland.  Please click here for further information and to click through to order tests.

Please remember that this is just an extra precaution for those who would like comfort from regular testing because they are out and about at work each day.  If you have any symptoms you should get an appointment for a PCR test and if you have been asked to self-isolate, because you have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive with coronavirus, you must follow the guidelines.  The lateral flow test is not a substitute for self-isolation.

It's also of course essential that you keep following the guidance.  We’ve been concerned to see a sharp increase of coronavirus cases in the Moray area.  Please keep following the rules, especially when travelling in vans together where masks must be worn at all times.

Please take advantage of these extra provisions to keep yourself, your colleagues and your family safe.  

Take care

Innes

23.04.2021 - COVID-19 Action Plan Update 62

Dear All, 

I’m delighted with the enthusiasm from staff for this year’s Sharesave scheme.  We await final numbers, and this will be confirmed to all participants formally soon, but it seems that again the take up of the scheme has been fantastic.

It’s great to see the sun shining for the start of the weekend and I’m sure you will all enjoy getting out and about.  Please do keep yourselves safe however as it’s so important that we don’t become complacent.  

That goes particularly for the guidance you must follow at work.  We know that car and van sharing is sometimes unavoidable but please remember that face coverings must always be worn in those circumstances.  Time spent in any internal spaces – whether site cabins, canteens or vans – is where we’ll be most vulnerable to any spread and we want to make sure you all stay safe.

If, with the steps to loosen restrictions, you’re in any doubt about the current guidance in place please get in touch with your line manager.  The Scottish Government website is also a useful resource, please see here.

Take care

Innes

16.04.2021 - COVID-19 Action Plan Update 61

Dear All, 

I’m sure you all feel a new form of freedom today with the travel ban across Scotland being lifted.  Even if you don’t plan to go anywhere it’s a nice feeling to know that you can, particularly for those with family living elsewhere.  I had my first vaccination this week too and hope that the programme is working its way to you all soon too.  Please remember to let us know when you’ve had yours.  

This week I’ve enjoyed meeting staff at the three employee rep meetings held.  Thank you for participating and doing a great job at representing your colleagues by asking so many questions.  Not surprisingly, a clear theme was the return to office working.  As yet we don’t know when the Scottish Government will allow offices to reopen and even at that point we will need to consider what’s best for our employees.  The last thing we would want to do is to rush back and risk a spread of infections.   

We do look forward to welcoming you all back at some point though.  Whilst we will give careful consideration to individual needs, I have no doubt that the fantastic culture we have developed at Springfield will be boosted when we get to work together face to face again.  It’s also important that we consider how we work across the Group – from offices, to sales centres, on-site and in our kit factory to ensure we all benefit from any changes.  If you have any suggestions of how we can improve our working environments please do let us know.  We want you all to enjoy your place of work as well as looking after your health, safety and wellbeing.

At this point of the month I’m also keen to remind you about the sharesave scheme.  It’s a terrific opportunity for you to benefit from the growth and success of the Group and it’s a win win situation as if the share price doesn’t grow, or if your circumstances change and you need to leave the scheme, you can just take what you have contributed back again.  Any questions at all please just give HR a shout. 

I hope you enjoy the sunshine this weekend, wherever in Scotland you plan to be!  Please keep safe and keep following the guidance.

Take care

Innes

12.03.2021 - COVID-19 Action Plan Update 60

Dear All,

It’s been great to hear that a number of colleagues have already received their first vaccination. 

As I’ve said a couple of times before, if you are invited to attend a centre for a vaccination please accept the appointment without hesitation.  Paid time off will be granted to all employees to allow them to attend the appointment to get vaccinated.

It would be really useful if you could contact HR to let us know if you have received your vaccination.  If it’s easier pass the information to your line manager and allow him/her to report it to us.  We’re keen to understand what proportion of our workforce is protected.

And with the increased rates of vaccination, today marks what we hope is the start of the easing of Scottish Government restrictions with relaxation of rules on outdoor meeting and four-balls permitted again at golf!  Let’s hope the good news continues.  In the meantime keep up the good standards that we have all become used to with social distancing, hand-washing and face-coverings.  Please in particular ensure you are wearing face-coverings if you need to travel together to and from sites.

Take Care

Innes

09.03.2021 - COVID-19 Action Plan Update 59

Dear All,

Following the First Ministers positive announcement today that restrictions on people meeting outdoors are being eased, we would similarly like to ease one of our own measures. From Wednesday 10th March, employees and sub-contractors will no longer be required to wear a face covering on site when working outside or walking around, however physical distancing still needs to be maintained.

Cutting transmission remains important so we should all continue to wear a face covering where social distancing is more difficult and the virus could easily pass between people. This includes when working inside properties under construction, travelling together in company vans and in site communal areas such as toilets, canteens and site offices.

Colleagues visiting any of our office premises for essential purposes should continue to wear a face covering upon entry and keep it on while you are walking around, in shared spaces or meeting rooms.

Please ensure that you all continue to follow our Covid-19 safe operating procedures including keeping at least 2 metres away from each other, maintaining high standards of hand hygiene, and making sensible choices when it comes to undertaking tasks with others. These measures remain the best ways of managing the Covid-19 risk in our workplace.

Take care

Innes

19.02.2021 - COVID-19 Action Plan Update 58

Dear All,

The purpose of my message this week is very much to promote ‘self-care’.  

Your wellbeing during these incredibly strange times has never been so important.  The attached booklet is useful and shows you are not alone in perhaps feeling additional pressures at the moment. You can read the booklet here.

Next month I will be undertaking a course which is designed to equip me with tools to help support mental health, support others and maintain my own self-care.  As a Group we want to get 60 people from across the business signed up to this course and I’d encourage you to get in touch with Diane Kemp for further information.  I’m very keen in particular to see staff from our sites and kit factory signing up to achieve representation across all working environments.  The 3 hour course will be held online during working time and all you need is access to a mobile device, laptop or computer with internet access.  Please call Diane on 07495 178262 or email diane@springfield.co.uk by 26 February.

 Different forms of exercise also help our wellbeing and that’s why we offer free gym membership to all staff.  I’d encourage you to explore alternatives while the gyms remain closed.  There are lots of online or social distanced classes being organised.  At the very least we should be taking time away from work at lunchtime, or from our often hectic home lives in the evening, to go for a walk.

Communication is similarly essential right now.  I have frequently encouraged you to reach out to line managers or HR if you need anything and todays message is the same.  Plus conversations should be happening regularly within teams – whether safely, social distanced, on sites or in our factory or via ‘Teams’ if you are working from home.  Please keep checking in on each other.

If you do feel things are getting on top of you please also consider accessing the Employee Assistance Programmes which offer confidential advice and support.  For easy reference HR will recirculate the relevant information to you.

We can definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel with the vaccine rollout and uptake going very well.  However, it will take time for our ‘normal’ lives to fully resume and it’s important that we are taking care of ourselves, and each other, in the meantime.

Take care

Innes

12.02.2021 - COVID-19 Action Plan Update 57

Dear All, 

Today I want to advise that we have enthusiastically decided to participate in an asymptomatic testing programme being introduced initially in Moray and Fife. 

To reduce transmission and help protect staff and subbies working on our sites, a mobile testing station would be set up for lateral flow tests to be undertaken on everyone, even though no symptoms of the virus are showing.  If anyone tests positive they will be asked to self-isolate immediately and book in for a PCR test at one of the larger test centres to confirm the result.  

We trust that you will welcome this additional safety measure and will work with us on its introduction.  Further details of this scheme will be rolled out to those working in relevant sites as and when we have them.  The intention is for the testing programme to begin in Moray this month so we expect to hear more soon. 

We will also monitor roll out of these schemes across Scotland in the hope that we can participate in similar programmes elsewhere.

In the meantime whilst we are all beginning to feel the fatigue from the effect of ‘groundhog day’, please keep safe and keep following the rules on social distancing, mask wearing and handwashing.  We must remain vigilant regardless of how familiar or safe the working environment may feel. 

Take care 

Innes

05.02.2021 - COVID-19 Action Plan Update 56

Dear All,

As we have begun a new month under lockdown I wanted to reach out to say thank you and to let you know how proud we all are of your continued positivity and hard work.  Thanks also to those on furlough who have remained patient for such a long time now.

The homes and developments that we are building continue to remain popular and sales have been consistently strong over the winter months.  We continue to be grateful that the Scottish Government has allowed us to continue our operations safely during this period of lockdown and we are appreciative of the efforts that you have all made to keep yourselves, colleagues and customers safe.  This goes in particular to everyone out working on our sites, especially on these freezing cold days, who deserve an extra big thank you from us all. 

The announcements this week on the transition back to the classroom for children will be good news to a lot of you and I’m sure, like me, you will have begun the countdown.  It looks like we will need to wait a little bit longer to get more normality back into our lives, but with the roll out of the vaccination at least we know the end of this is in sight.  As I’ve mentioned before, if you are invited to receive a vaccine please accept the appointment without hesitation.  We will grant paid time off for those attending vaccination appointments. 

Whilst there has been little change to update you all on of late, please do keep in touch with your line managers and HR (whether you are working or on furlough) and share any concerns or struggles that you are experiencing.  We want to help where we can.

Keep safe, keep following the rules and I hope to see you all sometime soon.

Take care 

Innes

11.01.2021 - COVID-19 Action Plan Update 55

Dear all,

Given that the new strain of virus is potentially up to 70% more transmissible, we need to tighten our protection where we can.  

From today, I am asking that all employees and sub-contractors wear a face covering upon entry to our sites.  This includes walking around and when working inside or outside.  The only exceptions will be if you are classed as exempt for health reasons.  If you are visiting any of our office premises for essential purposes please also ensure that you are wearing a mask upon entry and keep it on while you are walking around, in shared spaces or meeting rooms.

In order to protect our workforce and to ensure sites are kept open we are now insisting that you cannot return to work until ten days after a positive test.  The Govt guidelines suggest that the 10 days should start from when symptoms showed but we believe this is open to judgement and is arbitrary therefore are relying on the date the test was taken.  All other rules about self-isolating due to people you live with contracting the virus remain the same.  Remember if you show symptoms you should book a test immediately.

As the vaccine begins to roll out we’re obviously very keen to have employees immunised as soon as possible.  Therefore if you are invited to receive a vaccine please accept that appointment without hesitation.  We will grant paid time off for those attending vaccination appointments.

We will continue to monitor the Scottish Government briefings for any changes to guidance that affects our operations and will update you with anything of significance.  In the meantime please pay particular attention to your own behaviour to maximise our protection and reduce the spread where possible.

Lives depend on us all doing what we can.

Take care

Innes

08.01.2021 - Test and Protect Update

Hi all,

I hope you and your families are well.

Below details the Test and Protect guidance.  In short:

Employees must not attend work until they have spoken to HR or you under any of these circumstances:

  •  if they have symptoms;
  • they have booked a test;
  • they are awaiting a test result;
  • they have been identified as a close contact;
  • they live with someone who is either awaiting a test result, has symptoms and/or has tested positive.

To reiterate, in any of these circumstances your Manager will discuss with you your ability to work from home, otherwise self-isolation continues to be treated as sickness absence.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact HR (contact details below).

Many thanks and take care.

Heather 

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Self-isolation guidance for Employees

The main symptoms of coronavirus are a new continuous cough, fever or loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste.

What should I do if I become unwell with Coronavirus symptoms at work?

• Notify your Manager that you feel unwell and leave work to self-isolate straight away. Wear a face covering on route (available from your Site Manager or the H&S dept.) and avoid public transport. 

•  Visit www.nhsinform.scot to arrange to get tested. If you can’t get online, call 0800 028 2816.

•  Until you have been tested and told if it safe to leave home, you should not come to work.

What happens if I test positive for Coronavirus?

•  Please contact a member of HR to discuss your result.

•  You need to continue to self-isolate for 10 days from the time your symptoms started.

•  NHS contact tracers will interview you and get in touch with people you have been in close contact with, and tell them they must self-isolate for 10 days.

•  If you feel well enough after 10 days, and have not had a high temperature for 48 hours (without taking any medicines to treat a high temperature) you can return to work*. 

What if the test is negative?

•  Please contact HR to discuss your return to work*. 

I have been informed by an NHS contact tracer that I have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive. What should I do?

•  If you are contacted at work please notify your Manager and leave work to self-isolate straight away for 10 days.

•  You may be asked to work from home if you are able to and are not unwell.

•  If you develop symptoms within the 10 days, you must stay at home for 10 days from the day your symptoms began. You should do this even if it takes you over the 10-day isolation period.

•  Towards the end of the 10 day period (or extended period due to developing symptoms), please contact HR to discuss your return to work*.

I live with someone who has symptoms or who has tested positive

•  Please follow advice above for those who have been told by the NHS they have been in close contact with someone who has coronavirus and self-isolate immediately.

•  If the person with symptoms tests negative, everyone in your household can end isolation and you can return to work.*

In all circumstances, please request a Self-Isolation note from NHS inform and email HR through a copy as soon as possible.

*Before you return to work you should contact HR who will arrange a “return to work” telephone interview for you and your Manager. You should not return to work before this time.  

IMPORTANT HR CONTACT DETAILS

Cara Dent | HR Administrator (Elgin) | cara.dent@springfield.co.uk | 07880 341 184

Diane Kemp | Senior HR Advisor (Elgin) | diane@springfield.co.uk | 07495 178 262

Marc Dickson | HR Administrator (Larbert) | marc.dickson@springfield.co.uk | 07712 573 628

Jaide Johnston | Senior HR Advisor (Larbert) | jaide.johnston@springfield.co.uk | 07794 050 194

05.01.2021 - COVID-19 Action Plan Update 54

Dear All, 

Whilst there was no further changes in the First Minister’s briefing today, there was a strong reminder that while we wait for the vaccine our behaviour is key to reducing the spread in the crucial weeks ahead.   

Latest guidance from the Scottish Government allows us to safely continue our operations and sites and sales offices will remain open.  Aftersales will be limited to emergency repairs only and this will unfortunately impact on the service we can offer our patient customers.

Where our roles allow, we should follow the ‘stay at home’ advice and only travel for work where absolutely necessary.  By this stage it should go without saying how important it is to keep our distance, wash our hands regularly and wear a face mask.  SHEQ will soon be in touch with site based staff with more specific reminders of COVID-19 protocols, ready for the majority of developments reopening on Thursday. 

If you are to shield please speak to your manager and provide a copy of your letter to HR once received.  If you have concerns over childcare, with the extension of home schooling, please share them with your manager.  We are here to help and support you if we possibly can.

Please also ensure you re-familiarise yourself with the Test and Protect rules and protocol – in short – do not attend work if you have symptoms - get a test immediately or contact HR if you are in any doubt. 

Take care 

Innes

04.01.2021 - COVID-19 Action Plan Update 53

Dear All,

Happy New Year (I feel obliged to say that!!!)

The Scot Govt announcement today allows us to continue working on site and we did not hear anything to suggest we have to close show homes.

It is clear we should work from home where possible and also that children need to stay at home.  There are also shielding requirements for vulnerable people.

Unless it is “essential” you come to the office please stay away for January.  Clarification for any individuals will be given if requested.

No doubt more will become clear over the coming days and as we don’t start on site until Thursday and Showhomes are closed Tuesday & Wednesday we would ask that you give us a little time to clarify things.

If you have any immediate concerns please contact your MD or appropriate person.

Further communications will follow tomorrow & the rest of the week.

Kind Regards 

Innes