Staying safe, our new COVID19 helpline and the latest frequently asked questions

Latest advice

Employee portal and

Workplace [UK] Coronavirus

GOV.UK for UK Government response

 

We update our FAQs as quickly as we can, so you have all the information you need. 

Frequently asked questions

1. Do I still need to go to work?

Yes absolutely. You are required to work, and we must continue to deliver services to our clients.

2. Is coronavirus (COVID-19) an acceptable reason to stop providing services to our clients?

No. Our commitment to our clients remains our priority, whilst making sure we do everything we can to help keep our people safe.

We all need to remember that this isn’t just affecting Securitas it is affecting everyone and everything around us.  We all need to do as much as we can to fulfil our roles and meet our clients’ requirements.

3. Lots of clients are asking for a Covid-19 business continuity plan, is there one we can share?

Detailed business continuity plans are in place however, these are for internal use.

Shaun Kennedy, Country President, Securitas UK has written an open letter to our clients, which has been published on Securitas.uk.com and which can also be used by managers.

4. If a person with coronavirus (COVID-19) comes in to contact with the branch office or company vehicles what should we do?

Follow Public Health England advice and complete a deep clean of the premises, vehicle and any other equipment the individual may have been in contact with or used.

Your wellbeing

5. I feel unwell what should I do?

If you feel unwell follow the normal sickness procedure and contact your line manager. However, if you show coronavirus symptoms i.e. a high temperature and a new, continuous, dry cough stay at home and contact your line manager.

6. I have an isolation note from the NHS. Where should I send it?

You must send your isolation note to your line manager. It is really important your isolation note is received so that you are paid correctly.

7. What is the difference between self-isolation, social distancing and shielding?

Self-isolation applies to people who have symptoms of coronavirus and people who live with them.

This means staying at home and not going out, staying away from other people in your home, sleeping alone if you can, and not having any visitors.

Social distancing is about ways to avoid catching and spreading coronavirus.

It’s advised for everyone, including people over 70, or people with a long-term condition or women who are pregnant.

Shielding is a measure to protect those who are at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) from coming into contact with the virusa.

8. Will I get paid if I self-isolate with symptoms?

If you self-isolate with symptoms you should call NHS 111. Company sick pay (CSP) or SSP will be payable depending on your terms and conditions of employment.

For the first seven days off work, you can self-certify. If you are unable to work for more than seven days because of coronavirus (COVID-19) you must obtain an isolation note through a new online service.

The isolation note can be accessed through the NHS website and NHS 111 online.

9. Will I get paid if I self-isolate because I am in a household where someone has self-isolated with symptoms?

Yes, you will be paid SSP.

10. I received a letter from the NHS as I am classified as “extremely vulnerable.” Do I have to come to work, and if I don’t, will I get paid?

If you have been identified as extremely vulnerable you should follow UK.GOV advice on shielding. You will be offered furloughed leave, and if you accept, you will be paid 80% of your salary up to a maximum of £2500 per month (before tax and NI deductions).

11. I live with someone who is in the vulnerable group. Should I self-isolate?

No. You only need to self-isolate if you, or someone in your household, is displaying symptoms.

12. If I live with someone who has self-isolated, but I feel fine, can I still come to work?

No. Under NHS guidelines you will need to self-isolate for 14 days.

13. Will I get paid if I self-isolate because I am in a household where someone has self-isolated with symptoms?

Yes, you will be paid SSP.

14. I read that the guidance on symptons of COVID-19 have changed. What is the new guidance?

The Government has announced that Anosmia has been added to the official symptoms for COVID-19 as recognised in the UK.

Anosmia is the loss of or a change in ‘normal’ sense of smell and can also affect sense of taste as the two are closely linked. Public health guidance has been updated to reflect the addition of anosmia as a symptom:

  • individuals will need to self-isolate immediately if they develop a new continuous cough or fever or, as of today, a loss or changed sense of normal smell or taste (anosmia);
  • all members of their household must also self-isolate according to current guidelines, unless the symptomatic individual receives a negative test result.
  • the individual’s households should also self-isolate for 14 days as per the current guidelines and the individual should stay at home for 7 days, or longer if they still have symptoms other than cough or loss of sense of smell.

Don't forget if you have any questions about COVID-19, contact the helpline.

Your contract / employment

15. I’m on a zero hours contract and need to social distance. Will I be paid?

No.  Please review the GOV.UK guidance, particularly in reference to applying for Universal credit.

16. Can I choose to work from home if I want to?

Working from home must be agreed in advance with your line manager and is subject to you being able to fulfil the full accountabilities of your role.

17. Will I get paid if I choose to stay home i.e. social distance, but I cannot work from home?

No. This would be unpaid leave. However, we would try to be flexible and you may be able to take annual leave subject to line manager approval.

18. Do I need a VPN connection to work from home?

You only need to access a VPN connection if you need access to the O drive or to your H drive, or need to use Citrix , Timegate,  PASS, Navision or any other systems running on our internal servers.

You do not need a VPN connection to access your email,  teams, OneDrive, SharePoint or for general web browsing.

19. Can I take annual leave if I want to social distance?

Yes, subject to approval by your line manager.

20. Will I get paid if the client closes their site?

If a client closes their site, you will be paid in line with your contract. However, we will try to find you an alternative place to work.

21. Do we have to comply with working time directives?

There is no dispensation for us to breach the basic requirements of the Working Time Regulations.

In extreme circumstances where personnel have needed to extend their shift times, the legislation allows us to provide compensatory rest in lieu of hours worked. However, this would be an exception and something we would try to avoid at all costs.

22. Can I carry my annual leave over into next year?

No, you need to take your annual leave entitlement for 2020 this year.  Taking your annual leave is important for your health and wellbeing so make sure you book your annual leave, subject to approval by your line manager.

23. Who is eligible for furloughed leave?

GOV.UK have recently updated their guidelines and furlough leave may be offered to colleagues who:

  • are classified as extremely vulnerable
  • are classified as vulnerable i.e. over 70, with an underlying health condition or is pregnant
  • live with someone in a vulnerable group
  • is unable to work from home and is unable to source childcare.

If you have any queries, please discuss your personal circumstances with your line manager or email COVID19.help@securitas.uk.com.

24. Will I be furloughed?

Furlough Leave may be considered in the following circumstances:

  • where a client reduces their security requirements as a result of coronavirus COVID-19 and there are no alternative positions
  • Employees who are shielding or who are social distancing because they fall into the vulnerable category.
25. When will I receive my Furlough payment?

You will receive your Furlough payment on your normal monthly pay day until you are called back to work or the job retention scheme ends.
If you are called back in to work mid-way through the month, your Furlough payment amount will be pro-rata for that month.


26. Why is the figure on my furlough paperwork different to what I got paid?

The amount quoted in your letter was an approximate amount, as GOV.UK guidelines are frequently updated and may have caused us to make adjustments to your furlough pay.

27. How do you calculate my furlough pay?

If you are paid hourly and have been employed continuously by Securitas from the start of the 2019/20 tax year, we calculate the furlough amount using the highest of either:

  • 80% of the same month’s wages from the previous year (up to a maximum of £2,500 a month)
  • 80% of the average monthly wages for the 2019 to 2020 tax year (up to a maximum of £2,500 a month).

If you are paid hourly and have not been continuously employed by Securitas from the start of the 2019/20 tax year, we use your earnings from 2019/20 to calculate an average and pay 80% up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.

If you are salaried, we use your last pay period before 19 March 2020 and pay 80% (up to a maximum of £2,500 a month.)

28. Why are my furlough payment amounts different for March, April and May?

Every month is calculated separately using the appropriate calculation method and is based on the number of calendar days that you are on furlough leave.

29. When I am on furlough leave are monthly deductions such as tax, National Insurance and pension contributions still taken out of my pay?

Yes, furlough payments are liable to tax, NI, pension contributions, court orders and CSA payments etc.

30. Can I work for Securitas while I am on furlough leave?

No. if you are on furlough leave you are not able to work for Securitas or any other employer.

31. Do I accrue holidays on furlough leave?

Yes.  If you are on furlough leave you will continue to accrue annual leave entitlement in line with your employment contract.

 

32. What happens if I do not agree to go on furlough leave?

If we ask you to take furlough leave, it is because the client does not require our services, or we do not need your role at present. However, Furlough Leave is part of the Government’s job retention scheme so we hope you will consider the opportunity to take furlough leave very carefully.

If we ask you to go on furlough leave and you refuse we would take all circumstances in to consideration, however ultimately you could be at risk of redundancy* or termination of employment.

* Normal redundancy process and procedures would apply. 

Permits and licenses

33. Do I need a permit to work?

Although there is no legislative requirement for anyone, including officers licensed or non-licensed, to carry a permit to work, a number of officers have been asked to show permits. 

We have emailed our officers a critical worker permit to work.  If you have not received your permit to work or you are not an officer, but cannot work from home, email the COVID19 helpline and they will send you a permit to work.

34. My SIA licence is coming up for renewal, but I have been furloughed. Do I need to renew it?

Yes, you must renew your SIA licence. You can renew your licence 16 weeks in advance and keep the same renewal date.

35. I need to verify documents for staff to obtain their SIA licence but how can I do this with social distancing measures in place?

Until further notice, you can accept documents emailed to you by your licensable staff. Please forward these with the completed SIA application form to the LAU.

You do not have to visit your employees to verify the documents however, once the measures are lifted you will need to verify any documentation submitted by email.

Key worker

36. What does key worker status mean?

If your work is critical to the COVID-19 response and you cannot keep your children safe at home, your children will be prioritised for education provision.

37. Am I a key worker?

If your work is critical to the COVID-19 response i.e. you work in one of the critical sectors listed below you may be classified as a key worker:

  • Health and social care
  • Education and childcare
  • Key public services
  • Local and national government
  • Food and other necessary goods
  • Public safety and national security
  • Transport
  • Utilities, communication and financial services.

Read the latest GOV.UK guidance and if you have any queries please raise with your line manager.

If you require a letter for your local authority, please contact your line manager who will send you a key worker letter. Please note your local authority will ultimately decide if you are eligible for key worker status.

38. I’m not a key worker. Do I have to work?

Yes absolutely. The key worker definition does not affect whether or not you can travel to work. You must still travel to work (if you cannot work from home).

Test & Trace

39. I have been contacted by the Test & Trace (or equivalent in Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland) organisation on behalf of the NHS, stating that I have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID. What should I do?

You must inform your manager immediately and self-isolate as directed by the Test & Trace team.  If you are displaying any COVID symptoms, you should also book yourself in for a test.
Depending on how the Test & Trace team contacted you, please send one of the following to your manager:
  • A screen shot of the incoming call from the Test & Trace team
  • A screen shot of the Text message that you received which shows the sender's details
  • A copy of the email that you received which shows the sender's details.
Unless you supply one of the above, we will not be able to register your absence as eligible for payment of SSP for the 14 day self isolation period.
Your Manager will then complete and submit the updated QMS 391 v5 form and your records will be updated accordingly.

Self Isolation when returning from travel from another country

The government has confirmed that if you are returning to the UK from a country other than those on the exempt list you should ‘quarantine’ for a period of 14 days. This period of quarantine means you will not be able to leave your home for any reason for 14 days, including to go to work.

 

 

 

If you chose to travel abroad and are required to quarantine for 14 days, you will not be eligible for sick pay for this period.

Ongoing updates

As the situation changes, we continue updating our FAQs, so please revisit this page as the content may change.

Don’t forget if you have any queries, email COVID19.help@securitas.uk.com and one of the team will get back to you.