R&S June 2020 – BAR Scottish Companies adapting to COVID-19 restrictions.
Updated: Jul 13, 2020
Georgina Berry, BAR Scotland Area Secretary and Director, Richard Healey Removals
Georgina Berry: It was a very difficult time for the company. We decided to close in March to protect our employees and customers, although we kept up close communication with them and with our service providers, legal and financial advisers to draw up a plan that has allowed us to safely return to work now that we’ve been given the go-ahead to do so.
R&S: How have you been preparing for a return to ‘normal’ trading?
GB: We’ve been working closely with the BAR’s Scotland Area and with BAR Director General Ian Studd, who has been attending all our virtual meetings and has worked tirelessly behind the scenes on guidance for safely restarting operations. We have also ordered a range of PPE, from gloves to masks and snoods, disinfectants, sanitisers and anti-bacterial hand soaps to make sure our employees are protected on the job. Staff have their temperature taken every morning before work starts, and we use foggers to deep clean the office and vehicles on a daily basis. In addition, we’ve drafted a disclaimer for our customers to sign that makes sure their properties are safe for our teams to enter. Our surveyor is completing surveys using a digital platform and, although it took some time, he is now getting to grips with it. He was initially worried that he would lose the personal contact with clients, but he is still managing to build good rapport.
Overall, we’re not entirely sure yet what exactly the new normal will look like, but we can see that it will be very different from the way we did things before.
R&S: What’s the situation at Richard Healey with regards to staff?
GB: We have been performing a phased returning to work, starting with the essential moves we have on our books that cannot wait any longer. Employees are returning in waves and working to a rigid method statement and risk assessments to ensure their safety.
R&S: Do you have any messages for fellow BAR Members?
GB: Over the course of this crisis I’ve found it really uplifting to see how the Scotland Area has come together. We have been meeting virtually on a regular basis to support each other as much as possible and I hope this continues for a long time to come. So, I’d encourage BAR Member firms in other parts of the country to use and strengthen those existing support networks that are provided by the Association. Everyone’s going through the same issues as you are, and we’d all do well to work together to push through this crisis.