Coronavirus and office based staff

Given the ongoing spread of the Coronavirus, we are providing generic guidance for members. We understand each workplace is different but these resources should help members.

Different employers will respond differently to Coronavirus. The following is some general guidance, however, as this guidance is changing daily, you should keep updated using the links to official sites on the main Coronavirus page.

Many of our finance and professional sector organisations have gone one step further to help delay the spread of the virus and to ensure the safety of their employees as well as remain aware of business continuity.

Other staff in office-based roles may have been provided with similar guidance. For example, in some cases, employers have been preparing teams for homeworking, restricting travel and cancelling all large gatherings that cannot be done via video or telephone conference.

We are asking all members to respect both the government’s advice and the employer’s requests.

If you are uncomfortable with a request from your employer we would in the first instance ask you to speak to your manager or to give your local community rep, regional organiser or the service centre a call to discuss your concerns. This is an unusual situation and must be treated with common sense and reasonable adaptations to the current working environment will be expected.

Current advice

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly Hand washing with soap and water is the single most effective way to reduce the spread of contagion. This means washing your hands for at least 20 seconds regularly throughout the day. If soap is not available use Sanitizer gel.
  • Using disposable tissues when sneezing or coughing and throwing them away in a bin or preferably dispose of in a lavatory
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
  • Avoid handshakes be creative exploring alternative greetings, such as a wave or foot tap.
  • Keep office spaces and Workplaces clean If you work in an environment where you share equipment whether that computers, desk space or workstations, use antibacterial wipes before and after use.
  • Feeling unwell? Recognise symptoms The symptoms of COVID-19 are not the same for everyone, but if you develop a high fever, have a persistent cough or difficulty breathing, the advice from health organisations is to stay at home to protect yourself and others. Self-isolation is still a good idea. Regularly take your temperature and if you have a fever of 38.5⁰C or more, call the doctor or the NHS 111 line, instead of going to the doctor’s practice or the hospital. Inform your manager straight away.
  • Beware: Cyber criminals leveraging Coronavirus. For example, cyber criminals pretending to be from the World Health Organization (WHO) recently disguised themselves with fake email, websites, phone calls, text messages, for their scams to steal money or sensitive information.

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