Coronavirus (COVID-19) MPA policy
Policy brief & purpose
This MPA company policy includes the measures we are actively taking to mitigate the spread of coronavirus. You are kindly requested to follow all these rules diligently, to sustain a healthy and safe workplace in this unique environment. It’s important that we all respond responsibly and transparently to these health precautions, we assure you that we will always treat your private health and personal data with high confidentiality and sensitivity.
This coronavirus (COVID-19) company policy is susceptible to changes with the introduction of additional governmental guidelines. If so, we will update you as soon as possible by email.
This coronavirus policy applies to all our inhouse MPA staff, who are currently working throughout our six branches in Derry, Belfast, Omagh, Coleraine, Ballymena and Armagh.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.
The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is to be well informed about the COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes and how it spreads. Protect yourself and others from infection by washing your hands or using an alcohol-based rub frequently and not touching your face. The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it is important that you also practice respiratory etiquette (for example, by coughing into a flexed elbow).
MPA will continue to email all workers updated guidance as and when received from the Public Health agency. Please also keep yourself informed of all updates by following local government websites and HSE updates.
Here, we outline the required actions Staff should take to protect themselves and their co-workers from a potential coronavirus infection.
MPA have carried out an office Risk Assessment, this outlines all hazards and actions taken to reduce the spread of Covid-19 in the workplace. We advise that you make yourself familiar with all requirements on the Office Risk Assessments.
Completed by your line manager or MPA’s Nurse manager. This meeting covers information regarding your current health, your awareness of Infection control procedures in the area you are working and any other concerns that you may want to highlight. This information is treated as highly confidential and will be kept in accordance with MPA’s Data protection policies.
The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to
measure your temperature)
a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing
episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you have noticed you cannot smell or
taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
If you develop COVID-19 symptoms
You will need to contact your local GP or NHS (111) for medical advice, once you have received this advice please update your manager.
Please contact your local manager immediately, advising us of your symptoms.
Do not attend the workplace under any circumstances
Please discuss with manager the medical advice that was given to you if you have been told to
self-isolate but are feeling well MPA can accommodate working form home requests. If you are unwell and can not work MPA’s sick policy as per your staff handbook should eb followed.
If you feel unwell while at work
Please inform your manager immediately
They may isolate you to one area until you can go home
You will be asked to go home immediately
Please try not to use public transport
If you are too unwell to drive, please get someone in your household to collect you
Please adhere to government social distancing guidelines strictly
When you get home please contact your local GP/NHS 111 for medical advice
If you have been advised to self-isolate, please contact MPA and inform us of how long you have been told to self-isolate
If you have symptoms of coronavirus infection (COVID-19), however mild, do not leave your home for seven days from when your symptoms started. This action will help protect others in your community while you are infectious.
If you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms of coronavirus, then all other household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill. (This is current government advise and is subject to change)
Testing for Essential Workers – please use the self-referral portal if you are an essential worker and have symptoms of coronavirus; https://www.gov.uk/apply-coronavirus-test-essential-workers
When you should get tested
Individuals should get tested in the first three days of coronavirus symptoms appearing, although testing is considered effective up until day five. No testing should be undertaken after day five unless it’s for a specific reason which will be agreed on a case by case basis by local microbiologists.
What kinds of tests are offered?
The test confirms if an individual currently has the virus. There are two options for individuals to get tested that will be available via the new website:
• Driving to a regional test site OR
• employees requesting a home test kit which will be delivered to their home
Where members of the household require testing, up to three can attend a regional test site with the essential worker. The total of four, reflects the maximum number of occupants that can be safely tested in a single vehicle.
If the essential worker is registering a test on behalf of a member of their household, that worker does not have to attend the test site with the household member. If that symptomatic individual’s name has been booked as the person who needs the test, it will be their name on the list at the test site.
The maximum number of home test kits an essential worker can order is five.
If you test positive for Coronavirus, it is extremely important that you follow all medical advice and self- isolated for the required period. Please contact MPA to inform us of your illness and when you are past the isolation period and feeling better please contact us for a return to work discussion.
If an employee has tested negative, can they come back to work straight away?
Employees with negative results should only return to work if they feel well enough to do so. If everyone with symptoms who was tested in their household receive a negative result, the employee can return to work immediately, providing they are well enough, and have not had a fever for 48 hours.
If a household member tests positive, but the employee tests negative, the worker can return to work on day eight from the start of their symptoms if they feel well enough and have not had a fever for 48 hours.
If the worker does not have symptoms but a household member tests positive, the worker should continue to self-isolate in line with national guidance
The Testing program does not return the results to MPA. It is the individual’s responsibility to discuss their test result with us as part of your return to work conversation. This information will be held in the strictest confidence.
Sick guidance- Coronavirus
If you must self-isolate or have been advised to self-isolate and you are unwell due to suspected or confirmed Covid-19 you will be eligible to receive SSP.
We will require an NHS 111 isolation note in order to process your SSP payment
MPA’s usual Sick policy will still apply- please refer to your staff handbook if you require further guidance on this.
It is very important that you keep MPA up to date regarding any coronavirus related illness so we can work with any bodies concerned in ensuring the risk of infection is minimized.
Your Physical and Mental Health and Wellbeing during Covid-19
The lockdown measures put in place because of the Coronavirus pandemic have restricted human interaction and lead to some work-life imbalances. MPA will endeavor to support all employees, we have an open-door policy and if any worker needs to discuss any health or wellbeing issues in confidence, they can speak with their line manager or a member of members senior management team.
Policy Updated: 26/06/2020