I would first like to express the hope that you and your family are and remain healthy. To anyone whose family has been directly impacted by Covid-19, I offer our thoughts for a full and swift recovery.
As the world continues to manage the Covid-19 pandemic, I wanted to reiterate that we remain focused on continuing to provide our 1,500 clients with the quality, expert service that they rely on whilst simultaneously ensuring we continue to protect the wellbeing of all our staff.
Over the past few months, both your and our businesses have been impacted by the measures our Governments have implemented. I am pleased to say that, thanks to our business continuity planning, strong IT infrastructure and the resilience and commitment of our staff, we have been able to adapt with you to provide a good continuity of service and deliver on our higher purpose – ensuring the wellbeing of our clients, their beneficiaries and their employees.
Ensuring service continuity
At the start of the pandemic, we moved the vast majority of our staff across all of our locations to a remote-working model. After an inevitable few niggles, our investment in platforms over the past few years enabled this to work seamlessly during lockdown, and we were able to continue to meet our clients’ needs.
During this period we maintained a handful of staff at some of our sites to provide some of the critical administrative functions (systems maintenance, processing incoming and out-going post, printing, etc.) to ensure that there was only minimal impact on our service.
We are, however, mindful that our staff thrive in a team environment where we can develop careers, provide thorough training and create the camaraderie that is needed to continue to deliver a high quality service. We have, therefore, welcomed the opportunity, in line with Government guidance, to start a responsible return to the office during August 2020 in England.
During lockdown, we completed Health & Safety assessments at all of our premises and made significant adjustments to ensure that our sites are “Covid-Safe” for staff and clients. We are now starting a gradual return focussing on areas where our service and the support that we can give to our staff will be improved through having people on site. Our current priority is our staff in our pensions administration and actuarial processing teams.
Staff who do not need to return to maintain our service have been invited to return on a voluntary basis and these numbers are starting to build as the teams get used to the new environment.
We have placed a limit on occupancy at each of our offices – on average at about 50% of our maximum capacity – to ensure that we can always maintain 2 metre social distancing. We do not expect to increase occupancy beyond this point until and unless there is a significant change in the Covid-19 landscape.
For staff who continue to work remotely (still the majority), data security continues to be a priority. All remote access takes palace using our Virtual Private Network (VPN), ensuring that private, sensitive, and protected information remains secure.
We are permitting our staff to travel to clients but are still only allowing essential inter-office travel. We have ensured that our offices are “Covid-Safe” should any of our clients need on site meetings and we will require any visitors to confirm they have no symptoms and provide their contact details for ‘track and trace’ purposes.
That said, we expect remote servicing to be an important part of the way we operate and all of our staff have the capability to use tele-conference and video-conference facilities which will enable us to remain in close contact with you, and host and attend virtual meetings.
Our Senior Management team continues to meet on a regular basis to discuss any changes required to our working arrangements or if any further preventative measures need to be taken to protect the welfare of our staff. All staff are regularly communicated with to provide them with the most recent and relevant advice and guidance from the Government and the NHS.
We will keep you updated with any changes to our approach to managing Covid-19 as well as key information regarding the investment markets, pension schemes and employee benefits options.
Please continue to contact us through our usual channels if you have any questions at all.
CEO – Broadstone Group