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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.