Clientèle reveals COVID-19 actions to safeguard its employees
With the COVID-19 infection rate continuing to climb across South Africa, Clientèle today provided an update on how the business is supporting and protecting its staff.
“Our staff are extremely important to us and we have adhered to all health and safety requirements regarding COVID-19” says Basil Reekie, Group Managing Director of Clientèle. “From the onset of COVID-19, we have, as a company, taken the implementation of all regulations very seriously and have gone above and beyond to minimise the spread of infection and to do our utmost to protect our employees and their families. Where possible and practical we have also allowed, facilitated and encouraged staff to work remotely from home,” he adds.
Clientèle established a COVID-19 Committee who meets regularly and looks at the challenges of COVID-19 and how this affects staff members. In terms of the measures being taken, Clientèle has required staff members to self-quarantine immediately should they test positive for COVID-19, and have protocols in place for contact tracing of any positive or suspected cases.
“The company makes suitable arrangements for the COVID-19 testing of all employees, who are deemed ‘high-risk’ based on their potential exposure to the COVID-19 virus while at work, and accordance with the risk-rating criteria detailed in the relevant guidelines issued by the Department of Health to Essential Service Providers,” explains Reekie.
Screening of both employees and visitors who arrive at the office park is carried out every day, while the business regularly deep cleans the premises and provides SABS-approved fogging of the corporate office buildings. In addition, COVID-19 managers have been appointed for each area/department with the responsibility of ensuring that all rules and procedures are followed and escalating all positive cases as soon as it comes to their attention to mitigate the spread of the virus.
Various additional controls have been instituted. These include, but are not limited to:
• Instituting shift working for their sales force at the office park to better facilitate social distancing;
• Providing face masks to all their employees, along with additional face shields to employees working in the call centres and a personal hand sanitiser;
• Hand sanitisers have been made available throughout the office park and especially at high-risk areas like bathrooms, printers, vending machines and kitchens;
• Within the kitchens, there is no sharing of utensils allowed while all staff have to wash their cutlery, and only two staff members are allowed inside the kitchen at a time;
• Three dedicated nurses onsite;
• A dedicated COVID-19 email where concerns and suggestions can be raised; and
• Online COVID-19 training that had to be completed by all employees as well as all new inductees.
Clientèle is aware that the pandemic and ensuing lockdown are tough on employees, especially with regards to their mental health. Consequently, counselling services are offered to all employees through The Careways Group and the business has made several platforms available for staff to raise any queries or questions during this trying time and encourages staff to use these platforms.
“We have been in constant communication with our staff, providing transparent updates on COVID-19 cases at the office, as well as providing tips and rules around safeguarding our environment and, as the country enter the peak of infections, we continue to remind our employees of the importance of following all COVID-19 guidelines, policies and precautions. As the infection rate starts to decline, we have to continue to be extra careful as we know that the risks remain high.
We do all of this because the health and safety of our staff always come first and we continue to do our best to support them during these unprecedented times,” concludes Reekie.
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