Following our previous Service Announcement, of 17th March 2020, on the steps being taken by Ross & Liddell to safeguard our services to clients through the current COVID-19 outbreak, we would wish to update you as follows:
We continue to follow the advice issued by the UK and Scottish Governments and the NHS and we have now implemented our contingency plan for continuity of business, in view of the increasing restrictions being put in place, and our wish to ensure the continued health of our colleagues, clients and the wider population.
From Monday 23rd March 2020, the following will apply:
- Our offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee will remain open, with staffing levels of approximately 50% across all departments and functions. The remainder of our staff will be working remotely, from home, with full, and secure, access to our IT & Management Systems, e-mail and our telephone system.
- It is intended that during the course of the week additional staff will be moved onto home working, in anticipation of further restrictions on movement, and contact, among the population. We will continue to staff all three of our offices, with key staff members, for as long as is permitted, and is sensible in the circumstances. Staff will be segregated in individual offices and disinfectant procedures are in place.
- We have phased our switch to home working in order to allow live testing of the integrity, and robustness, of our remote connections and to maximise preparation for what will be a challenging period, in which we aim to minimise disruption to clients, as far as is possible. However, we do anticipate that our full staff will require to work remotely at some point, during the coming weeks, and given the extent of home working throughout the country, and potential strain placed on the broadband, and phone, networks, we would ask for your patience and understanding should response times be extended.
- E-mail communications should take place as normal and incoming calls to our offices will be answered, or be automatically diverted to a colleague working remotely.
- For clients who receive correspondence by mail, we will continue to communicate with you by post, for as long as is possible. However, in order to retain, or improve, communication, we would ask that you provide us with an email address, to which may issue all communications. In order to allow such communication, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org confirming your name, property address, or account number ( if known ), together with the e-mail contact address you wish us to use. Alternatively, you can provide this information via our website by clicking on “Contact Us” at the bottom of the Home page.
- Where we currently hold your e-mail address, but you still receive communication by post, we will contact you, in the near future, to confirm our intention to move you onto full electronic communication.
- We have been in communication with our approved contractors, to establish and discuss the precautions they have taken to protect their workforce, and our clients, and we have agreed the procedures and protocols through which we will jointly seek to continue contracted services, together with reactive repairs and maintenance. Our contractors have largely advised us that they are prepared and available to assist, however, we will continue to monitor and review the position, to take account of contractors’ staff absences, and any further restrictions, which may be put in place by the government, to adjust our approach as appropriate.
- We are of course conscious that the COVID-19 virus, and resultant restrictions, have placed considerable strain on individuals and companies, in terms of health, employment and finances and while seeking to maintain continuity of all services, we appreciate that priorities and circumstances will vary among clients and developments. We therefore propose to review the progress of all non-essential proposed repair schemes and, where possible, seek confirmation from a majority of owners that they wish these to proceed, in the current circumstances. We intend to focus on maintaining contracted services and the instruction, and progression, of essential and emergency works in the short term. We will review overall development finances, when the position, and timescales, for a return to a more normal social and working life is clearer.
It is of course important that we remain in a position to instruct and fund contracted services, together with essential and emergency works, and we would therefore request that clients continue to make regular payments towards their common charges. We understand that some clients may find it increasingly difficult to prioritise and pay incoming household bills, given the current economic uncertainty, therefore, if you do find yourself in this position, please email us at email@example.com and we will be happy to contact you, with a view to assisting in finding a solution.
We will continue to review our provision of services to client, taking account of the developing situation in the efforts to control the virus outbreak, and the resultant social and economic impact. We will strive to maintain a high level of service, in line with our Service Level Agreement, in these unprecedented, and unpredictable, circumstances and we would wish all of our clients, their family and friends well during this difficult period.
We will provide updates on our website ross-liddell.com and via your Webportal.
Andrew Cunningham BSc MRICS