Taylors’ COVID 19 Pandemic: Business Response Plan
Community First Approach
At Taylors we understand that businesses have a significant part to play in reducing the impact of coronavirus within the community. We are all in this together. This plan is in place to help us risk manage these exceptional circumstances with two key focus areas as paramount;
- The health and wellbeing of our team members and their extended families, and
- The continuity of our business to ensure we can meet our client and project requirements
We have moved to full Working From Home operations for all of our employees to ensure their safety, and have done so with minimal disruption to our project activity.
We are operating under full compliance with government and industry requirements.
Responsibilities and Communication
It is important that we internally understand the key areas of responsibility and communication as well as who is nominated with this accountability so that we do not act on misleading or second-hand information. Our framework for key accountabilities allows us to remain updated on the latest government and industry advice and ensures that we are compliant with mandated COVID 19 requirements. Our framework outline is as follows:
Board (via Managing Director)
- Establish, communicate and continually re-evaluate our Business Response Plan
- Establish and communicate the points of control for decision making
- Ensure hourly monitoring of government and industry COVID 19 information and requirements during business hours, and prior to working hours each morning
- Ensure direct line of communication between HSEQ Manager and Board
- Assess people and business risks ongoing (at least daily) until the Business Response Plan is withdrawn
- Communicate directly to the business on People, Client and Operations information
- Coordinate client communication protocols
General Manager – People and Culture
- Set and communicate policy, procedure and protocols around team member health and wellbeing
- Act as Board escalation point for any team member health related advice and status update
- Manage conversations and actions around team members deemed to be in the high risk category including requests for self-isolation and determining return therefrom
- Manage conversations in relation to leave provisioning and allocation
- Communicate directly to the business on health, wellbeing and employment condition related information and instructions
- Communicates directly to the business re external activity attendance
Remote Work Action Group (RWAG)
- Act as a leadership, steering and advisory group for the successful transition to Working From Home status for all employees
- Assess project workflow, data transmission and data integrity in the remote work environment
- Ensure best allocation of hardware and software across operational and corporate teams
- Establish the sharing of Project Data protocols
- Identify critical workflows and arranges conversations with GMs
- Establish and monitor Licensing Protocols
- Manage expectations of data movements
General Manager – IT
- Enable all desktops to be operational in a remote work situation
- Communicate to the business on remote work hardware establishment
- Communicate to the business on core business systems from a remote work functionality perspective
- Co-ordinate help desk support team for assistance with remote access setup
- Communicate to the business on protocols for handling of incoming calls
- Read and abide by all Taylors COVID 19 communications and requests
- Monitor emails and other messaging each morning to check on office status
- Be prepared to shift to remote workplace (working from home) at short notice
- Following IT and Remote Work Action Group instructions and protocols
- Documenting project status – as you go – in Mavenlink on a daily basis
- Be responsible with your adherence to government protocols (eg social distancing) in your own time as well as during business hours
- Be prepared to help each other out and do what is necessary to keep people supported and projects moving
Commitment to our Clients
It is important to us that our clients are reassured of both our focus on the safety of our people as we continue to operate, and our focus upon business continuity to ensure on time delivery of project activity. We understand the need for increased communication at this time and have instigated a number of additional communication points to assist this. Our initial March communication from the Managing Director to our entire client base best outlines this commitment:
Dear valued clients and friends,
We write to you with only a brief note to advise you that we have enacted our Business Continuity Action Plan given our current situation with COVID-19.
We want to assure you that we have prepared all necessary arrangements to move to full remote home work operation should it become necessary. This plan has been enacted to both ensure the health and wellbeing of our team and the minimal disruption to your project.
Our project management and control systems are cloud based and are accessible to our team from anywhere at any time. Our communication and video conferencing is enabled at all workstations so, subject to local data transmission congestion, communication with your client manager or project lead should be seamless. The core service delivery of our Urban and Infrastructure Business is managed and undertaken locally and internally and therefore we have full control over our consulting work and deliverables.
We are also having advanced conversations with supply chain elements which may have an impact on your project.
We have taken a Community Thinking First approach with our Action Plan and this means that unfortunately we have withdrawn our team members from attending corporate events and conferences until further notice and we request that all project meetings be shifted to online video conferencing wherever possible.
Please contact any of the Taylors Board or Operational General Managers should you wish to discuss or if you have any concerns.
Standing Procedures and Protocols
It is important that internally we all know the new behaviours required to adapt during these extraordinary circumstances and to keep ourselves and our community safe while we continue our business activity. The situation is changing rapidly and therefore our communications and instructions are likely to be updated regularly. Everyone has accountability for keeping on top of the latest information which is available via our intranet. Our Standing Protocols have immediate effect and remain in place until further notice. Current protocols in place are as follows:
In Office Protocols: (NB all employees are currently Working From Home until further notice)
- Hand sanitizer is available upon entry to our premises, at key work stations, and shared kitchen and bathroom areas throughout our buildings.
- Information is published on our noticeboards and shared public areas in relation to appropriate hand washing practices using soap and warm water.
- Information is published in each of our shared public areas in relation to appropriate in arm sneezing / coughing etiquette.
- Antibacterial wipes are provided for wherever equipment needs to be shared. Equipment must be wiped down before handover.
- Antibacterial wipes are provide to all employees to wipe down workstations daily.
- Shared public touchpoints such as stair rails and door handles are wiped down and disinfected twice daily as well as having an overnight clean.
- We have ceased all non-essential visitors to our office
- We will not be shaking hands to greet clients and visitors until further notice.
- We have requested that non-essential face to face meetings do not occur and that we instead use Zoom or similar for online meetings.
- The Australian Government has released information on expected social behaviours during this time and in particular around social distancing. These Guidelines are available on our intranet and we expect that all employees follow these guidelines through the course of all business activity.
- We are enacting all elements of the section on Social Distancing in the Workplace whilst attending the office for any reason.
Working At Site
- For Field Surveyors, we have protocols in place that allow our team members to work in the field with minimum contact as per the Government guidelines. This is checked via a new section in our JSEA and Safe Work Reference documents under Biological Hazards: COVID 19 Protocols
- For busier work sites, we expect full compliance with the COVID 19 Guidelines for the Building and Construction Industry Victoria (as at 31st March).
- Our team members reserve the right not to participate in site activity that is not compliant with these guidelines.
- All business travel is to cease until further notice
- Employees are asked to declare any personal overseas travel plans for 2020 asap
- Employees need to be aware that all overseas travel will require a self isolation period of 14 days upon return and therefore WFH arrangements will need to be in place
- Employees are encouraged not to use public transport (where possible) and seek alternative travel arrangements
Working From Home (WFH)
- All employees have undertaken a risk assessment of their home workspace based on our Safe Work Reference for Working From Home
- All employees have been provided with appropriate IT protocols for connection to our networks and phone help service is available 7 days a week
- All employees have been provided with appropriate data management protocols as issued by the Remote Work Action Group (RWAG) and phone help service is available 7 days a week
- Business communications have moved largely to Zoom and phone and our regular communication framework which mandates weekly management and team meetings, along with daily team member touchpoints remains in place
- Safety First continues to be the first topic at each of these meetings, and safety Toolbox Talks therefore continue
- Communication and engagement in varied remote forms is encouraged to help with the mental wellbeing of our team members during this challenging time.
- All employees are aware of the guidelines to follow should they have more direct concerns with COVID 19:
What to do if you are experiencing symptoms
- If you suspect that you or someone living in your household is experiencing COVID 19 symptoms, you should advise your General Manager immediately and not attend the workplace. We will ask you to stay away from the office until either symptoms dissipate, or you have sought medical advice. In the latter case we will be guided by the medical recommendation. We expect that during any waiting period, or any required period of isolation, if you are feeling well enough you will work remote and remain as productive as possible during this time.
- In the event that you or someone living in your household is medically diagnosed with COVID 19, or has knowingly come into contact with someone medically diagnosed with COVID 19, we expect that you advise the business immediately and commence isolation for at least 14 days, and until you have medical clearance to return to the office. Again, we expect that if you are feeling well enough you will work remote and remain as productive as possible during this time.
- Whilst the office is closed and we are all in Working From Home (WFH) status, you are still expected to advise your General Manager of the above scenarios in the same way.