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.

Our after-sales service will remain open for emergencies.  Please note that the Scottish Government guidance restricts this to “essential works only” and we will only be able to attend to anything that could affect the fabric of the building or the health & safety of customers including for example gas, electrics, water and heating. 

Our office buildings remain closed with all office-based staff currently working from home.


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COVID-19 updates from Chief Executive, Innes Smith

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

24.12.2020 - COVID-19 Action Plan Update 52

Dear all,

Before the last working day of what will definitely be remembered as our most challenging year as a Group, I wanted to drop you a message to say a final thanks for your ongoing patience, resilience and support.  

I am so proud of our fantastic employees and what we can achieve even in some of the most difficult times.  I would like to extend this thanks to all our sub-contractors, suppliers and, last but certainly not least, our customers.

Undoubtedly with this new strain of the virus we will face further uncertainty as we return to work after the break, but with well over 50,000 people already vaccinated please remember that there is light at the end of this twisted tunnel. 

As I’ve said before, as a business, we are ending this year on a high with positive results put out to the market reflecting our half year performance.  We’re able to report such strong progress because we build great quality homes and look after our customers – this is only possible because of the hard work and dedication from each and every one of you.  

For the next couple of weeks let’s try hard to let ‘C’ be for Christmas and not for the more commonly used words of 2020….Covid or Corona!  Please enjoy yourself and keep your families safe.

Wishing you and your families a very merry Christmas when it comes!

Take care

Innes

21.12.2020 - COVID-19 Action Plan Update 51

Dear all,

The announcements on Saturday of a post-Christmas ‘level 4 lockdown’ came as a shock to us all.  

Whilst Christmas plans and many parts of our lives may be affected by this decision, I wanted to reassure you that level 4 does not affect our work activities.  Construction and home moves can continue safely under the current regulations and this means that all of our sites and sales offices can open as planned following the festive break. After-sales will be restricted to “essential” works only and will strictly follow existing protocols.  

News of schools being closed until 18 January will have a practical impact and employees with kids will be considering what arrangements can be made, including the use of holidays and/or flexible working.  We got through this together all spring/summer, and we can do it again for two weeks in January.  If you have any questions or concerns please raise these with your manager and they will be able to assist.

Finally, with operations closed for the Christmas break you may feel without support but please do still feel that you can reach out to your line managers and HR if something is causing you particular worry.  It’s also helpful for you to understand that whilst the Coronavirus Regulations ask all of us to restrict our movements there is a major exemption to prevent illness, including mental illness. Travel to help with mental health is justified – and, particularly at Christmas, and all the pressures that can bring.  Please also remember that there’s independent support available all year round through the helplines that we have flagged in this update before. 

As this is all very new there is no certainty that things will remain the same and we are ready to update you with any changes when and if they happen.    

Take care

Innes

14.12.2020 - Test and Protect Update

Hi all,

I hope you and your families are well.

Below is the new updated Test and Protect guidance for employees which highlights the change to the isolation period in the event you are identified as a close contact.  This has changed from 14 days to 10 days of self-isolation. 

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

13.11.2020 - COVID-19 Action Plan Update 50

Dear All,

COVID-19

Do 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;
  • you live with someone who has tested positive.

Our guidance sheet for employees is again detailed below.

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.

Managers should ensure they let a member of the HR team know as soon as someone reports a COVID related absence.

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

Many thanks and take care.

Innes

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 14 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 14 days.
  • You may be asked to work from home if you are able to and are not unwell.
  • If you develop symptoms within the 14 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 14-day isolation period.
  • Towards the end of the 14 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

HR CONTACT DETAILS

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

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

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

06.11.2020 - COVID-19 Action Plan Update 49

Dear All,

It’s been one week since my “final” update and already there is significant news to share with you.

As you are likely to have seen in the media, yesterday the UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that the furlough scheme is to be extended to the end of March 2021.  

This will be very good news to many sectors who continue to face closures.  It also gives us comfort that support will be available if we do face further restrictions that affect our ability to fully operate over the winter months.

We will be considering the detail of the announcement and what that means for our business in the coming days.  

Take care

Innes

02.11.2020 - SHEQ Update

Dear All,

Today sees the introduction of the Scottish Government’s new ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19): local protection levels’ to help stop the spread of the virus across the country. I am sure all of you are aware of the Level that affects your household, however to emphasise the Levels that currently cover our areas of operations and offices, I have listed them below. Please note these are operated on Council areas:

Covid19 Tiers

Full details can be found here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-protection-levels/

As you can see across our business we have a mixture of Levels to contend with, however the Scottish Government is quite clear on their advice with regards to travel, which is:

 Those living in Level 3 areas should only leave their own Local Authority for essential purposes such as: 

  • Work
  • Education
  • Caring responsibilities

Those living in Level 1 & 2 areas should not travel to a Level 3 area, except for the same essential purposes.

The inclusion of ‘work’ allows us as a business to operate as normally as we can under these circumstances, however we should not be complacent and remember the golden rules: 

  • Respect Physical distancing – keep 2m apart
  • Wash our hands for 20 seconds, use sanitiser provided
  • Wear face coverings as previously instructed
  • Download the Protect Scotland App

I am sure with all your continued support, collectively we will see this through with minimal impact on ourselves, our families and the business.

Thank you for your support. 

Ken Millar

Group SHEQ Director

30.10.2020 - COVID-19 Action Plan Update 48

Dear All,

This is my final Friday ‘Covid-19 Update’ to you with the furlough scheme formally drawing to a close on 31 October.  It’s also coincidently the day of our AGM, ratifying the results we presented for 2019/20.

After 33 weeks, and 48 updates sharing guidance, positive and admittedly often bad news since this Pandemic began, I am pleased to say that the company is currently in good shape and with your support we have demonstrated that we are both strong and agile enough to ride such storms.

As I said last week, we have a great offer for home buyers across Scotland with families aspiring to the type of homes and developments that we deliver.  Further positive news came our way this week with the Scottish Government approving planning for the Pool of Muckhart for the delivery of 38 private and 12 affordable homes, following our appeal earlier this year.  

With increasing rates of infection and new restrictions, particularly in the central belt, I am far from complacent about what could come round the corner and would urge you all to continue to work hard whilst keeping yourself, colleagues and customers safe.  

In the next week or so we will once again begin the issuing of our internal newsletter ‘On Site’ which I hope you enjoy.  Whilst offices remain closed I’d welcome any suggestions on new ways that we can communicate throughout the business to ensure we maintain strong relationships and stay motivated.  

Please continue to take care, wash your hands, keep 2m distance from others and wear face coverings where appropriate.  I will of course be in touch with any news (Covid or otherwise) that significantly affects our business or the way we work.

Until then a last thank you for all your support, together we will get through this!

23.10.2020 - COVID-19 Action Plan Update 47

Dear All,

Whilst there’s been little in the way of good news in the media and this update may seem like a weekly issue of rules and regulations, I wanted to assure you that despite the challenging context the business remains in a good place. 

Strong market demand is being sustained for the types of homes that we provide.  Families are aspiring to large homes with plenty of room for a home office, private gardens and access to attractive green space.  It’s also pleasing to note from the First Minister’s statement today that, even in extreme cases with ‘Tier 4’ restrictions having to be applied, construction sites will not be shut down.

I appreciate that we do need to continually adapt how we live and work just now and this can be hard so I truly appreciate your continued support and motivation. This year we will be asking for your feedback on homeworking within annual performance appraisals but would also encourage you all to share any comments or suggestions with your line manager at any point.   Please also remember if you are struggling emotionally or practically that you also have access to independent guidance through the resources I have highlighted previously.

Please keep doing what you are doing and continue to follow Covid-19 guidance (ie stay 2m away from people) to keep yourself and colleagues safe.  By doing this you are also protecting the continuity of our business to ensure we can efficiently deliver the homes our customers are eagerly seeking.

Take Care

Innes

16.10.2020 - COVID-19 Action Plan Update 46

Dear All,

This week we have seen the Test & Protect process working in practice and I am keen to share some of the learning from that experience with you all.  This will ensure you keep yourself safe and help minimise unnecessary business interruption, to allow you to continue to work and earn, when it’s safe to do so.

When someone tests positive for coronavirus, the aim of Test & Protect is to identify anyone that has spent significant time with that person, where they have been face to face without social distancing for more than 15 minutes.  The contact tracers will help that person decide who they need to contact, based on how long they spent with each other and how physically close they were.  Anyone contacted by Test & Protect must self-isolate for 14 days and should not go back to work until you have had a telephone ‘return to work’ completed by your manager.

Our aim therefore, to stop the spread of this nasty virus and protect your ability to earn a living, must be to ensure wherever possible that you are leaving two metres between yourself and colleagues.  Where jobs require you to be closer, please minimise this time to less than 15 minutes and ensure suitable face coverings are worn.  I acknowledge that on a construction site there will be instances where certain tasks mean that this is difficult.  However following these simple rules the best we can will make it much easier to identify those that should be traced if you are faced with the unfortunate position of testing positive.  It will also help reduce the number of instances of unnecessary self-isolation, ensuring only those where the risk of spread was likely are contacted by Test & Protect. 

It might feel safe to be close to colleagues who you work with every day but that familiarity can lead to complacency.  Please be alert with this, make sensible choices when it comes to undertaking tasks, travel and how you spend your lunch, and speak to your line manager or HR if you have any concerns about your ability to do any of this.  This goes for those working onsite as well as those visiting any of our offices.

In addition, to further support the Scottish Government Strategy for Test & Protect, from Monday it will be compulsory for anyone coming into our sites and offices with a mobile phone, company or personal, to have the Test & Protect App downloaded.  This will include sub-contractors.  

Take care

Innes

09.10.2020 - COVID-19 Action Plan Update 45

Dear All,

The restrictions announced by the First Minister this week remind us just how serious this all is.  Our lives will unfortunately not return to any kind of normality in the foreseeable future.  

We are very pleased that we are able to continue to work safely on our sites to deliver the homes for our customers and protect the continuity of our business.  

A change we must adapt to however, relates to the use of face coverings.  Please note that from Monday 12 October:  

  • If for any reason you require to visit one of the offices, face coverings must be worn in communal settings such as enclosed corridors, staff kitchens and toilets.  
  • These rules will also apply to our site offices and welfare facilities (canteens, toilets and drying room areas).  
  • Face coverings will now be mandatory for all Sales Executives, when not behind the protective screens, and customers will be advised that face coverings must be worn whilst visiting our Sales & Marketing suites.

Please also remember to register your attendance at any of our offices by emailing the relevant ‘Test & Protect’ internal email address.  Plus, I’d urge you all again to ensure you have downloaded the NHS Test and Protect App.  This is compulsory for those with company mobile phones.  The introduction of these additional control measures will assist us in helping to restrict the spread of the virus.  

Remember, if you are struggling emotionally or practically with any of this, please reach out to your line manager or HR and please do utilise the resources I have highlighted previously if you need or want additional independent support.  

Take Care  

Innes

02.10.2020 - COVID-19 Action Plan Update 44

Dear All,

Not surprisingly the First Minister allowed no further easing of restrictions when she addressed Parliament yesterday.  We’ve all just got to hope that the restrictions in place at the moment are effective at reducing the rate of spread.

With employees based across the country I’m aware that each of our experiences with this will be different.  However, no matter where we are, we cannot be complacent.  Please keep yourselves safe and do all you can to stop the spread of this virus. 

This week Sandy, Michelle and I presented the Group’s results.  Slightly different this year than the annual trip to London, we presented via Zoom from the boardroom in Elgin.  The good news we had to share was received very positively by investors.  The company is in a great place to deliver growth in the years to come and, as I said earlier this week, I want to thank you all for the part you have played in our success.

This is the last month of furlough with the UK Government Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme coming to an end on 31 October.  This will also mean the end of my weekly Covid-19 Updates which I had committed to do whilst staff were furloughed.  I am pleased to say however that our staff newsletter ‘On Site’ is now in production again and this will allow us to share news and achievements across the business.

Take care

Innes

25.09.2020 - COVID-19 Action Plan Update 43

Dear All,

I am sure each of you has been following the government announcements carefully this week.

Stricter rules in place mean we all need to adjust again to keep this virus under control.  Whilst Nicola Sturgeon remains committed to reviewing the position every three weeks, it’s likely that we will be living our lives in a restricted way over the winter months, and this will inevitably mean a continuation of home based working where possible.

Continuing my message from last week on wellbeing, I wanted to draw your attention to our Employee Assistance Programmes.  These programmes are an employee benefit offering you information, guidance and/or counselling on emotional and practical challenges.  I would encourage anyone looking for additional support to engage with these free services.  I will arrange for HR to cascade the appropriate information to you.  Again, this advice is for those patient employees who remain on furlough as well as those active in our work places.

Turning to positive news from the Scottish Government today, a second year of the First Home Fund is to run from April 2021 to March 2022.  This will greatly assist First Time Buyers with up to £25,000 available towards their purchase and, with a price cap of £250,000, will support sales across our developments.  This year’s fund is due to close to new applications next week and we will be putting a strong message out to customers to move fast to secure their new home for completion this winter.

Take care

Innes

18.09.2020 - COVID-19 Action Plan Update 42

Dear All,

As part of the Scottish Government’s Test & Protect Strategy, an app has been launched by NHS Scotland.  I want all employees who have a company mobile phone to download and activate this app today.

The ‘Protect Scotland’ app is a free, mobile phone app designed to help us protect each other, reduce the spread of coronavirus and avoid further lockdowns.  The app will alert you if you have been in close contact with another app user who tests positive for coronavirus. Further information can be found here.

As well as insisting employees who have a company mobile phone (which has capability for applications) download the app, we will also strongly encourage subcontractors and visitors to our sites/offices to do the same.  This is all about keeping our business going and ensuring we are doing all we can to keep the virus at bay.  

Over the coming weeks we will also be exploring other resources that can offer support to employees whilst the restrictions continue.  For example, colleagues in SHEQ this week highlighted ‘Breathing Space’ which is a confidential phone line for anyone feeling low, anxious or depressed.  Please find more details here.  Whilst your line managers and HR are always available to offer support, independent tools and/or organisations can provide additional guidance on how to help manage your wellbeing.  

This advice is for those patient employees who remain on furlough as well as those active in our work places.

Take care

Innes

16.09.2020 - Test and Protect Reminder

Good afternoon,

I hope you are all keeping well.

Further to our ongoing communications regarding Test and Protect, we are very keen to keep this guidance fresh in all our minds. 

Our guidance sheet for employees is detailed below. 

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.

Managers should ensure they let a member of the HR team know as soon as someone reports a COVID related 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? 

Ø  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. 

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

Ø  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?

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

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

Ø  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 14 days.

Ø  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?

Ø  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? 

Ø  If you are contacted at work please notify your Manager and leave work to self-isolate straight away for 14 days.

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

Ø  If you develop symptoms within the 14 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 14-day isolation period.

Ø  Towards the end of the 14 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. 

Ø  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.

Ø  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

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

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

Yvonne Harper | HR Administrator (Larbert) | yvonne.harper@springfield.co.uk | 07384 825 716

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

11.09.2020 - COVID-19 Action Plan Update 41

Dear All,

A week on from the Health & Safety address from SHEQ Group Director Ken Millar, and the message delivered seems even more valid.  The tightening of restrictions by the First Minister yesterday demonstrates that unfortunately this virus is not going away and we all need to continue to do our bit to minimise its spread. 

During her speech, Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that working from home remains the “default position” but also said that planning has begun on guidance for a phased return to offices “when the time is right”. 

If you have any particular support needs to allow you to continue to work effectively from home, please raise them with your line manager.  Please also ensure you claim the £26 tax free allowance that you are entitled to within your monthly expenses.  This allowance is for expenses directly related to working at home and it will continue to be available until the Scottish Government confirm we can start working from offices again.

With a high proportion of our employees now back working, my thanks goes to those remaining on furlough.  I truly appreciate your patience. 

Take Care 

Innes

04.09.2020 - COVID-19 Action Plan Update 40

Dear All,

This week, to remind you of the continued importance of health & safety across our operations, I am inviting our Group SHEQ Director Ken Millar to address you:  

Colleagues,

We are now starting to see more activity taking place across the Group, however we still have a global pandemic that we need to ensure we are doing everything within our control to manage. 

Recent restrictions imposed on Aberdeen and certain areas within Greater Glasgow, are a timely reminder that this virus is still out there. We have also had notification that a sub-contractor on one of our sites tested positive for COVID-19 this week and the Scottish Government’s Track and Trace process has now kicked in.  

It is great to see such a large proportion of our employees back from furlough and it is clear that there is a desire for normality to return.  However we must remember that Scottish Government guidance is for remote working to be the default position for those who can do so.  Our offices will remain closed until we get the green light from the Scottish Government.  There may be circumstances where working from home is not an option, and you should have that discussion with your line manager. 

The SHEQ Team is currently working on what control measures will need to be in place for the offices to be reoccupied when the time is right.  We will keep you updated with progress on this.  In the meantime if you need to visit the offices to collect something or access printers, please ensure that social distancing is maintained whilst you are there and that you use the hand sanitiser that is available.   

Whilst COVID-19 is a risk that we now need to contain, all other risks that were in place pre COVID-19 still exist and need to be managed.  I wish to remind you in particular of the importance of following health & safety protocols in place to help prevent incidents on site. It is upon us all to make sure we continue to manage the risks we will encounter on a daily basis.

Everything we are currently doing is designed to protect the Health & Safety of our workforce, our sub-contractors, our customers and anyone else that may be affected by our operations. With regards to COVID-19, we include all of your families in this. It is imperative that we abide by guidance and utilise control measures to do our bit to stop the spread of this virus.  

 If you have any questions or are unsure about anything, please in the first instance speak to your Line Manager, or contact a member of the Health & Safety Team at any time. 

Stay Safe.

Regards 

Ken Millar

Group SHEQ Director

Take care

 Innes

28.08.2020 - COVID-19 Action Plan Update 39

Dear All,

I am pleased to report that we are well and truly on our way back to fully functioning with 90% of employees having now returned to work.  For those remaining on furlough, we hope that this progress offers you some light towards the end of the tunnel.  Please continue to engage with your managers, particularly where those who are shielding have any particular concerns that we could help with. 

The wellbeing of our workforce has always been a critical consideration for Springfield – and it has been our first priority throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Myself and Sandy are enormously proud of the way our workforce responded to the lockdown and continue to be proud of how well you have all transitioned as the business strengthens itself for the future.

I was delighted to hear about two employee recognitions awarded this week.  Alan Brown at Dalmarnock and Callum Farrance at Ballingry were both recognised for going above and beyond in their work for the Partnerships business.  

Returning to the importance of wellbeing, gyms in Scotland will reopen on Monday.  We hope that you will take the opportunity to continue any fitness drives you may have commenced during lockdown into the winter months.  For anyone not already taking advantage of this employee benefit, please arrange a visit to Moray Sports Centre or Bannatyne’s to sign up for membership.

Keep up the great work and please take care

Innes

21.08.2020 - COVID-19 Action Plan Update 38

Dear All,

Yesterday marked another three week review of the Scottish Government Guidance on Covid-19.  With not too much movement in the steady progress already made in Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon advised that we need to remain in phase 3.

There was some good news on the earlier than planned re-opening of gyms, swimming pools and indoor sports courts from the end of August, meaning that we can soon take advantage again of our corporate memberships.  Bingo fans will also be pleased to note it’s return from Monday!

A similar pattern of steady progress is being mirrored in our business, with sales levels returning to a healthy but more normalised level following the surge of pent up demand when we re-opened late June.  We are proud to be able to offer home buyers the types of homes and developments that are being aspired to in a post-covid environment.  With an LBTT holiday in place and First Home Fund and Help to Buy available, the strong message to potential customers is that now is a great time to buy. 

We do not yet know when we will return to office based working but will keep this under review and will offer plenty of notice of the intentions.  In the meantime if there is anything you need to support you in working from home effectively, please do discuss this with your line manager.

I continue to send the same message to employees who remain on furlough – sincere thanks for your patience and please do get in touch if there’s anything that you wish to discuss.

Take Care

Innes

14.08.2020 - COVID-19 Action Plan Update 37

Dear All, 

For the parents amongst us I hope you have had a great week, waving the kids back off to school at long last.  It feels like we can begin to get some normality in our routines again.

This week I held the first, formal Group Directors session since February (albeit on a virtual basis) and was pleased by the optimism being shared on the good, steady progress being made across the Group.  I was also particularly pleased to note that all Springfield Partnership directly employed staff are now out of furlough.  A strong signal for the Group moving forward. 

Whilst we all need to remain cautious about coronavirus and the ripple effect it has had across so many sectors of society, I am extremely confident that Springfield will be in a good position to overcome challenges in a post-covid environment

For those remaining patient employees who are still on furlough, I continue to send you thanks and encourage you to engage with your managers if there’s anything at all that you wish to discuss.

Take Care 

Innes

10.08.2020 - Test and Protect Update

Hi all,

I hope you and your families are well.

Further to our recent communications regarding Test and Protect, we are again keen to remind you of the guidance and highlight that the 7 day self-isolation period has now been increased to a 10 day self-isolation period.             

Our updated guidance sheet for employees is detailed below. 

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 14 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 14 days.

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

• If you develop symptoms within the 14 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 14-day isolation period.

• Towards the end of the 14 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

Sarah Cantlay | HR Administrator (Elgin) | sarah.cantlay@springfield.co.uk | 07921 224 43             

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

Yvonne Harper | HR Administrator (Larbert) | yvonne.harper@springfield.co.uk | 07384 825 716

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

07.08.2020 - COVID-19 Action Plan Update 36

Dear All,

I have mentioned previously the need for us all to remain vigilant to play our part in keeping rates of coronavirus infection down.  

Following a spike in cases in Aberdeen this week, the First Minister has put the city back into lock-down.  The cluster of positive cases is believed to have stemmed from one pub.  Now all residents in the Aberdeen City local authority area once again face restrictions until the rate of infection is brought back under control.

The health & safety of our staff, customers, subbies and suppliers must remain our priority and that is why we continue to operate under a restrictive environment, guided closely by government policy. 

For those on furlough, whilst I am sure it must be frustrating, I hope the situation in Aberdeen helps you to understand why we cannot accelerate too fast.  For those back working, I deeply encourage you to not be complacent about the risks we continue to face.  Please refresh yourself with the measures we have put in place to protect the health of you and others and contact your manager or HR if in any doubt.

Take care 

Innes

31.07.2020 - COVID-19 Action Plan Update 35

Dear All, 

Nicola Sturgeon announced yesterday that whilst progress is being made, Scotland’s efforts against this Pandemic have not yet gone far enough to allow a move into the next Phase.  

According to the new Route Map published, our offices will need to remain closed, with us continuing to be home based until at least 11 September.  On a brighter note, I am sure the confirmation on the schools returning full time in August will be welcomed by a number of you.

There’s no doubt that the pandemic forced us into a very difficult period and we continue to review how we work as we come out the other side.  As a business, we have adapted tremendously well to the new virtual world we find ourselves in.  In fact yesterday, we hosted our first online site launch at Gartcosh using a new ‘hold’ facility for customers to secure plots on our website.  Today, I am pleased to announce some new internal appointments which have been made to drive our business forward in this post-covid environment.

Heading up consolidated functions in Central Private:

·         Regional Sales Director – Liz Cleghorn (from Dawn Homes)

·         Regional Commercial Director – Paul McKay (from Walker Group)

·         Regional Land Director – Campbell Whyte (from Dawn Homes)

 In addition, in Central Partnerships Kevin Rooney’s role will now be Partnerships Operations Director.

While I congratulate these four individuals, I wish to thank everyone else for their patience and understanding at what continues to be a challenging time. 

Take care and keep in touch

Innes

24.07.2020 - COVID-19 Action Plan Update 34

Dear All,

There has now been a week without any Covid-19 deaths in Scotland.  This is a really positive sign that the action taken in Scotland to reduce the rate of infection is working.

Slowly but surely we have been returning to work to enable us to deliver a quality service for our customers.  

After several months of closure, we have reopened to three weeks of strong reservations, which is encouraging. We do however need to be realistic about challenges that could still come our way, as organisations across Scotland take stock of the impact that the pandemic has had.  It is crucial that we are well-positioned to succeed in this post-covid environment.

Again, I thank everyone for their patience and understanding as time progresses.  In return we will be patient and understanding if there is anything that we can help you with.

Take care and keep in touch

Innes