Covid-19 – Heading back to work

Covid-19 – Heading back to work

As we continue to navigate through the Covid-19 pandemic, I thought it important to share with you some details of how we are adapting to face the challenges posed by the coronavirus.

The past few weeks have been a time of great uncertainty. It’s also a period in time when our services, which support critical human infrastructure, on which we all rely for essential amenities, are more critical than ever.

The government intervention of the furlough scheme and its subsequent extension, has been of great help in terms of managing the business in a controlled and effective manner.  The recent extension of the government’s Employee Retention Scheme (ERS)  provides us some “breathing space” to ensure we make the right decisions at the right time.

I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your understanding, flexibility and for the sacrifices you have made. I am not alone in acknowledging your commitments; we have received commendations from clients and via social media, recognising the many examples of Altrad people going above and beyond the call of duty, for that, I thank you most sincerely.

During recent weeks, we are beginning to see the green shoots of recovery materialising, a number of our clients are discussing options in relation to gradually unlocking work-fronts and resuming work activities and although it is likely to be a very slow and cautious journey, the direction of travel is certainly very welcome.

As you would expect, our first priority is the health, safety and welfare of our people. For those people who have been absent from the workplace, we have produced a RESET induction video and I ask that you all view the video prior to returning into the work-place.   In addition, we have produced a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for COVID-19 working arrangements, so I’d encourage you all to make yourself familiar with the contents.

Moreover, you will see posters and other media highlighting supplementary arrangements which have been put in place for your specific work location, again I ask you to take the time to read and comply with the guidance therein. These arrangements, are being put in place to protect everyone’s health and safety and to reduce the spread of the disease, I therefore appreciate your compliance.

As an Altrad team we have proved to be adaptable, resourceful and resilient, whether that be in our work or home environments, and I am under no illusion that these qualities will be further tested as this virus ebbs and flows over the coming weeks and months.  We have to retain our focus on staying safe, maintaining our wellbeing and serving our clients whilst also protecting employment as best we can. There are likely to be some difficult decisions ahead of us, given the current economic uncertainties however, we remain committed to making the best decisions for our people and our business for the long-term. 

There is no instruction manual for how we operate at a time like this, and the majority of the Executive Committee’s time has been focused upon navigating through the many challenges posed by COVID-19.  We are determined that Altrad will continue to play its part, and we won’t stop looking for new opportunities to support our clients, our people and the local communities to which we belong.

The biggest risk we now face is complacency which could result in a second spike in infections, so it is vital we listen to the science and follow the government guidelines to keep safe, whilst also playing a vital role in supporting the recovery of the economy.

Please take care of yourselves and your loved ones.

Paudie Somers
CEO UK, Ireland & Nordics