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COVID-19 Policy, Communication and Employee Guidance 18 March 2020

COVID-19 What are we doing

18 March 2020

COVID-19 Policy, Communication and Employee Guidance

Robust & RELIABLE Cleaning

At the time of compiling this update the number of UK confirmed cases has risen to 1,950 with confirmed deaths at 71.  We are experiencing a pandemic and what is now clear is the fourteen days incubation period when no symptoms are present but the disease can still be spread, is a critical period. Subsequently it is believed that thorough cleaning practices is a very effective tool in killing the virus that may survive on hard surfaces for up to 72 hours. 

In recognising these risks that may well be present across our portfolio of offices, medical, retail, leisure, local authority, emergency services, education and housing sector clients, we are increasing the measures taken to keep our clients’ buildings clean, and the building users of those buildings and our cleaning colleagues safe.

Our actions are based on our experience of delivering a quality cleaning service, backed up by the advice supplied by the government and the cleaning bodies Town & Country Cleaners are associated with.

We are implementing ongoing refresher training to employees based on the advice given by Public Health England to help slow the spread of respiratory viruses. This training includes but is not limited to:

  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Stay home if you have any flu like symptoms. If they have also travelled abroad in the 14 days prior to feeling unwell and follow NHS advice
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then discard the tissue sensibly
  • Clean & disinfect frequently touched objects & surfaces using an appropriate cleaning agent or wipe
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • If soap & water are not available use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and always wash hands with soap & water if hands are visibly dirty
  • Cleaning colleagues being instructed to wash their hands at the beginning and end of a cleaning shift
  • Cleaning colleagues being reminded and checked to wear gloves to offer additional protection

We have asked our employees & customers to advise our team if they or any users of their building are diagnosed with Coronavirus. If this stage is reached we will follow Public Health England advice on a case by case basis.

Town & Country Cleaners’ Board of Directors are holding daily discussions regarding the spread of the virus, and are tailoring our action plans accordingly to the unfolding events. We are keeping our employees and customers informed of any developments. The team are currently implementing a Pandemic management plan in relation to COVID-19, and are preparing for the eventuality that the UK cases reported so far are potentially the start of a significant increase in numbers.

Continuity of service to our established clients is our priority, and to ensure we are doing everything possible to deliver this, we are taking appropriate measures to attempt to reduce the risk. It is our intention that each of our employees continue to work as normal, and to take at the same time the appropriate measures to protect their own health.

A main aim of these measures is to prevent our Company becoming a vehicle for the spread of the virus and putting at risk our cleaning service. Whilst we have no known cases of COVID-19 within our team, the sickness should not if there was a confirmed infection in the future, be able to be spread to other parts of the Company. Whilst there are no indications of how many colleagues could possibly become infected, we have set a worse-case scenario of 50% of our colleagues being infected and potentially being unable to work through sickness or isolation.

Due to isolation methods of containing Coronavirus, the issue of physical proximity to colleagues has to be addressed. Members of the Customer Service Team (our Operations Managers) have been advised to not be within 2 metres of any other member of the same team where practical. We are considering how the wellbeing of individuals might be affected by these measures, and are stressing the measures are designed to protect, rather than isolate.

In addition to issuing hand sanitiser to each member of the team we are advising all Managers to record their temperature if feeling unwell. This will be monitored and if high temperatures are recorded, that particular Manager will be instructed to stay at home and follow Government/NHS guidelines.

Each member of the Customer Service Team is advised to visit our Head Office only when necessary. Each team member is equipped with a mobile phone & laptop and has the technology to remotely stay connected with the Company, our clients, and colleagues. If they do visit the Head Office it will be to collect or return cleaning equipment or materials to ensure we continue to clean our clients’ premises to the high standards expected of us. During these visits the matter of keeping some distance from colleagues and limiting social interaction applies at this time.

To ensure that a large number of our Head Office team are not sick at the same time we are introducing significantly higher levels of flexible working. We have spent the past few weeks preparing for this. As all our systems are Cloud based and with home access available via laptops & computers, we are anticipating no problems in keeping productivity levels high. All client communications and requests, including any emergency requirements arising from COVID-19, will be monitored and dealt with promptly.

The only difference our valued clients may notice is that telephone calls to the Head Office may be taken by our already established out of hours call centre, should we be short staffed in the office during normal working hours. If this is experienced, the team will ask for your contact details and pass them on to the relevant Customer Service Manager who will contact you promptly.

Head Office Visitors and Meetings

Where possible meetings are being held remotely with our customers and suppliers to prevent the spread of the virus and to avoid unnecessary contact.

Should you have any further questions regarding our cleaning services in relation to the virus, please call our Head Office on 01227 453878.

2019 BUSINESS SUCCESS

Recent New Business Wins

Our sales team have been very busy over recent months with competitive bids being submitted leading to some major contract awards.

Treaty Shopping Centre – Hounslow                            

October 2019 – awarded this substantial contract to provide a full 7 day weekly cleaning service including window cleaning, washroom products, pest control and grounds maintenance. The contract sees us employing both full and part time staff led by a dedicated site-based contract manager.

Tonbridge Grammar School

November 2019 – another substantial contract providing daily and weekly cleaning to this lovely school, along with periodic cleans and window cleaning services.

Harris Academy Riverside – Essex

September 2019 – After a competitive tender for this new build school, we are pleased to have been awarded this addition to our current portfolio of schools within the Academy trust.

Contract Renewals

We are delighted to have retained the following contracts, where our teams have been providing excellent service and value to our existing customers.

Valentines High School – Ilford Essex

We saw off a number of competitors in a very competitive tender and are delighted to say we have retained this prestigious contract for a further 3 years.

Brambletye a coeducational day and boarding preparatory school in East Grinstead

A gem of a school, where we have retained our contract for the 6th year in succession. Our success without doubt is due to our hard working and diligent site cleaning supervisor and team.

Folkstone and Hythe Council     

We entered into a fully competitive tender due to our contract coming to an end. We are delighted to say that this contract was retained for the next 3 years.

Harris Academy Rainham – Essex

We are extremely pleased to have retained the cleaning contract for this school from December 2019 and look forward to building upon our already well-established partnership with the Academy Trust.

Shepherd Neame Brewery 

Our long-standing cleaning contract of 9 years has again been retained from September 2019, where we have demonstrated consistent high levels of service delivery to our customer, staff and visitors.

CHARITY EVENTS

 MacMillan Bake Sale 

We are always happy to play our part in Head Office to support this annual event and raised £83.69p from some delicious home made cakes and treats. Next year we will endeavour to raise even more for this worthy cause.

Crisp Packet Recycling Scheme

(Courtesy of Facebook) “Well the crisp packets have been stuffed and sent, the coffee pods sorted and crated, and the accountants have crunched the numbers.

Over the last 6 months you have helped us raise an additional £11,255.56 for Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex.

This means we have now raised over £23k for them. A huge amount of money from stuff you would just chuck in the bin.

Over 2 million Tassimo & L’oR Nespresso capsules diverted from landfill and more recently in excess of 300,000 crisp packets going the same way.

Thanks for all your support and donations and biggest thanks to all of our volunteers who do amazing things to allow you to recycle and the charity to benefit. They are amazing people!

Over £11,000 in 6 months raised from rubbish, how amazing is that!! As well as all that rubbish being diverted from landfill 😊 thank you everyone, keep eating crisps!! 😉

Children in Need – 2019

This month is again the Children in Need charity event, where our team at Head Office will be looking at more ways to raise funds for this fantastic charity. Our Duck Race has already sold out and we are looking to make this our best year so far, so any further donations, or support will be greatly received.

2017 Business Success

We are pleased to have been awarded the following contacts:

New Business
The Harris Academy – Commenced in January 2018
The University of Kent, Medway Campus – Commenced in April 2017
The Charles Dickens School – Commenced in July 2017
P&O Ferries Limited – Commenced in January 2017
Diasorin FDA (as an addition to our main contract) – Commenced in November 2017
Guildford Borough Council (as an addition to our main contract) – Commenced in November 2017

We are also delighted to have been successful in retaining the following contracts within our portfolio:

Contract Renewals
Brambletye School – from October 2017
Mayfield School (Dagenham) – from January 2018
Caterham School – from August 2017
Norton Knatchbull – from September 2017
Diasorin – from October 2017
Barton Court Grammar – from July 2017

Welcome to all new employees and thank you for everyone’s efforts in contributing to such a successful year.

Children In Need

Thank you so much for all who participated for this worthy cause, we’ve raised a grand total of £123.22 from Dress Down Friday, the Duck Race, Raffle & Bake sale. Thank you to everyone who donated goods and/or money enabling us to raise this fantastic sum. Every little helps and we look to add to this with our Christmas Jumper Day on Friday 15th December, so dig out your snazziest Christmas jumpers!

August 2016 – awarded 3 new cleaning contracts

We are delighted to have recently been awarded  3 new cleaning contracts:

Thanet District Council and the cleaning of their communal areas to council owned dwellings and associated properties – Commenced July 2016.

Cleeve Park Secondary School and their Building Cleaning Services – Commenced July 2016.

St Michaels Primary School and their Building Cleaning Service – Commenced August 2016.

Feb 2016 Innovation

Town & Country Cleaners took part in an exciting project that will provide reductions in carbon emissions and reduce road travel. We have installed skype conferencing equipment in an effort to communicate with customers and staff without the need to travel hundreds of miles. Working with Sustrans and Kent County Council we have been pleased to take part in this project. The benefits to the Company and the wider community in environmental terms are far reaching and as such the attached case study has been commissioned to explain the benefits.

Jan 2015

We have been awarded two new contracts that we are due to start in January 2015. One is for Amicus Horizon and one is for Caterham High School. Both contracts have been awarded on referral and our reputation as a 1st class cleaning contractor. We welcome any new transferring staff and look forward to working for a new client at Caterham High School and our existing client at Amicus Horizon. Town and Country Cleaners have been re-awarded the BSI Kitemark, ISO 9001 for a further 3 years. This provides our clients with the assurance that we are regularly subjected to rigorous, independent testing to ensure that we comply with stringent standards for safety, service performance and reliability. The Kitemark shows that Town and Country Cleaners is committed to maintaining the highest possible standards.