CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) STRATEGY

At SecuriGroup we are taking the evolving and global nature of the Coronavirus very seriously.  We are focussed on ensuring that our people and our clients are supported with information and resources.  We are following carefully the recommendations of the World Health Organisation and guidance from the UK Government including guidance for employers and businesses, and implementing our business continuity plans in response to developments.  Our planning assumptions and link to Government strategy are included at Appendix ‘A’. 
 
STRATEGIC PRIORITIES
 Our strategic priorities are as follows:
  • Safety, health and welfare of all employees, clients, and the public.
  • Maintenance, as far as possible, of business as usual and a return to that as soon as practical.
  • Preservation of Company wellbeing and reputation.
SECURIGROUP COVID-19 CO-ORDINATION GROUP
The following are summaries of our main areas of risk and mitigation.  These will be kept under constant review. In line with our contingency planning a team drawn from various disciplines within SecuriGroup has been assembled under the lead of Operations Director, Allan Burnett QPM.  That team is accountable directly to the Company Executive for further resource and support and provides regular updates. All meetings are minuted and action oriented.

FRONT-LINE RESOURCING
Initiatives to continue to match supply to demand include:
  • The completion of a thorough risk assessment to identify and mitigate the threats posed.
  • Ensuring that all front-line colleagues, visiting supervisors and managers have been briefed on best practice hand hygiene and other key preventative measures.
  • An assessment and bolstering of site security teams.
  • The review of assignment-specific vetting, screening or training requirements that challenges routine backfilling.
  • Restriction of operational holiday approvals.
  • A review of core shift patterns to create additional staffing capacity.
  • Managers drawing up local arrangements in consultation with clients whenever possible on alternatives such as a reduced workforce, lock and leave supported by mobile security services and enhanced use of electronic security systems.
  • Engaging with our own extensive part-time and seasonal events staffing resources to supplement front-line deployment.
  • Liaison with clients on changes to the patterns of supervisory and management visits, and in some cases restricting visits on a case by case basis.
  • Ensuring that visiting managers and supervisors are well-briefed and observe best practice guidance to reduce the risk of contracting or transmitting the virus.
  • Engaging with existing SIA Approved subcontracting partners to boost front-line resources.
  • The holding and replenishment of PPE and health-related stock (distributed to key areas across the UK).
SUPPORT FUNCTION RESILIENCE
Our 24/7 Control Centre, Compliance and Finance Teams have a critical role in supporting our front-line colleagues, supervisors and operational managers.
Activity to enhance our support function resilience includes:
  • The implementation of best practice hand hygiene and cleanliness standards.
  • The invoking of our well-rehearsed business continuity plans.
  • Activating our working from home strategy for 50% of our office administration and support teams.
  • Limiting the amount of holiday leave taken across key departments.
  • Restricting non-essential visitors to our headquarters and regional offices.
COMMUNICATION
We recognise this as a vital element of the strategy.  We are paying full heed to expert advice and ensuring effective communication internally and externally. Our communication includes advice and guidance from authoritative sources using an established network.
Communications are considered for key stakeholder groups including staff, managers, and clients.
Circulations are overseen by Allan Burnett QPM and facilitated by the Communications Department and 24/7 Control Centre out of hours.

Key messages include:-
  • Practising good hygiene through hand washing etc.
  • Staying home if ill or exposed to Coronavirus and seeking medical advice as needed.
  • Avoiding non-essential travel.
  • Company preparedness.
PPE
A stock of protective equipment including latex gloves, protective masks, and sanitising gel is available.  Stock levels are being constantly reviewed.
Three storage hubs have been established London, Manchester and Glasgow, Manchester with plans published to ensure security, controlled 24/7 access, and ongoing inventory.  This distribution may be expanded if review indicates that is appropriate.  Arrangements are in hand to transport stock to any site if that is deemed necessary.
 
MEETINGS AND TRAVEL
We have taken steps to postpone near-term internal meetings and gatherings.  We are actively assessing our participation in company and industry events on a case-by-case basis, using the most up to date information to inform any decisions.  Site visits are also being kept under review with managers, supervisors and reserve staff briefed on exemplary hygiene procedures.
 
RISK ASSESSMENT
A general Risk Assessment has been drawn up covering health and safety issues relevant to the virus by a NEBOSH qualified practitioner from our management team.  This covers the hazards, persons at risk, existing controls, and, comments and actions.
Hazards identified are:
  • Vulnerable staff
  • Personal hygiene duties
  • Staff returning from Government Category 1 or 2 areas.
  • Travel on public transport systems
  • Staff displaying symptoms related to COVID-19
  • Possible contact with infected individuals
  • Spread of infection via surfaces that harbour the virus
  • Waste disposal
This Risk Assessment is kept under continuous review and updated appropriately.
 
FINANCIAL AND SOCIAL IMPACT
It is a planning assumption that the challenges brought about by the virus and response could have a substantial financial impact on individual staff and the Company.

Our approach is to work closely with our clients to mitigate the impact on both in line with our three strategic priorities which we have tested and resonate with our clients.  We are also monitoring the Government’s emerging policies for example Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) being available from the 1st day off work, not the 4th to limit the Corona virus spread.  We are considering the potential financial impact of a longer-term challenge and reviewing our contingencies, including charge rates to clients.
 
SUPPLY CHAIN
We are in contact with our own supply chain, notably on PPE equipment, financial services, and technical support.  Information will continue to be gathered from our suppliers on any potential issue.
Currently we have no information on any issue that might in turn affect our clients with the exception of systems equipment from China and the Far East.  This is being mitigated by sourcing equipment from elsewhere.
 
CONCLUSION
Our strategy and planning assumptions will continue to evolve, taking cognisance of emerging events and authoritative information.  We consider our strategic priorities will remain constant.

APPENDIX ‘A’
PLANNING ASSUMPTIONS AND LINK TO GOVERNMENT STRATEGY
COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus which came to light in December last year.  It is thought to have originated from Wuhan City in China and has spread steadily across the world. As of 2 March 2020, there were 89,070 cases throughout the world with the most substantial outbreaks in Europe, most notable Italy.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), who provide expert advice has updated their reasonable worst-case scenario planning assumptions for coronavirus. It is important to stress that this does not represent a prediction or forecast, but it is sensible modelling based on available data that allows us to plan for the worst-case position. This current modelling tells us that 80% of the UK population may become infected, with 4% of that number requiring hospitalisation and an estimated 1% fatality rate in those infected.

These are big numbers and it is important to note some caveats around them. Firstly that this modelling will be continually updated as more is learned about the virus and its behaviour from the data coming from other countries including in Europe and UK cases and secondly, that the vast majority of those who are infected by the virus will have mild symptoms, will not require hospital treatment and will be able to return to their normal lives in a week to 10 days.

But some will experience more severe symptoms, and some will become very unwell. The understanding at this point, is that older people or those who have underlying health conditions will be at a greater risk of being more unwell than others. 

It is also known that as the number of cases rise, there will be an impact on our staff being unable to work either because they are themselves unwell or because they are caring for family members who are.

This is a new virus for which we currently have no immunity and for which there is currently no vaccine. That means COVID-19 has the potential to spread extensively.  The UK Government approach has four elements which SecuriGroup will monitor as it will impact on our planning and responses.

1. Contain
- detecting early cases, following up close contacts and preventing the disease from taking hold for as long as possible. 
This is a phase where the public can help greatly by actively and consciously using good respiratory and hand hygiene.

SecuriGroup is committed to building these elements into our response.  So, the catch it, bin it, kill it message is important – using tissues to catch sneezes and coughs and then binning them. Good hand hygiene, not only after using the toilet but also before preparing food and regularly throughout the day especially if in contact with others or surfaces that others use too. This matters and will help a great deal.

2. Delay
- slow the spread of the disease, if it does take hold, so we can lower the peak impact enabling our NHS to better cope with the impact. This is critical but we need to understand that in slowing down and flattening out the peak we also prolong the length of time we are managing the disease.

It is a planning assumption of SecuriGroup that the disease will take hold and Governments will look to slow the spread of the virus as far as possible and flatten the peak of impact. The UK Government has stated that they will be looking at a full range of measures to help us delay the spread, including potentially extraordinary ‘social distancing’ measures, self-isolation and restrictions on public events. Evidence from elsewhere in the world has shown that when undertaken in combination these measures can be very effective.

This situation has not been taken yet and will be taken by the Government on the basis of evidence regarding the balance between effectiveness in slowing the spread and impact on, for example the economy.  Meantime, SecuriGroup is planning for this phase.

3. Research
- to better understand the virus and the actions needed to lessen its effect and innovate responses including diagnostics, effective antiviral treatments and ultimately, a vaccine.

4. Mitigate - providing the best possible care for those who are ill, maintaining essential healthcare and other services and taking steps to minimise where we can the overall impact on society, public services and the community.

Date: 10th March 2020

For any questions in relation to this strategy or our planning activities, please email: