Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak – advice to customers and suppliers
The coronavirus is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways and can cause flu-like symptoms. It first appeared in December 2019 in the Hubei province of China. Since then, it has spread to countries around the world. QualitySolicitors Yates & Co takes its duty of care towards employees, customers and suppliers seriously and all steps suggested by the government and Public Health England (PHE) will be taken by the business to protect the health and safety of our employees, customers and suppliers.
2. What is coronavirus?
The World Health Organisation explains that coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). This episode has been named ‘COVID-19’ as it first appeared in December 2019 in Wuhan, China.
3. What are the symptoms of the coronavirus?
Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Most people will suffer from mild illness and recover easily whilst in other cases infection can progress to pneumonia. Reports suggest that the elderly, those with weakened immune systems, diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease are the most susceptible to a more serious level of illness. Symptoms can appear in as few as two days after infection, or as long as 14 days. This means that for individuals travelling back from affected areas, they may not even realise they have the disease until they have been back for two weeks.
4. How is the virus spread?
The virus is most likely to be spread from person to person through:
- Direct contact with a person while they are infectious
- Contact with droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes
- Touching objects or surfaces (such as drinking mugs or desks) that were contaminated by droplets from a cough or sneeze from an infected person and then touching your mouth or face.
5. Duty of care
As a business, we have a duty of care towards all our employees, customers and suppliers which includes not exposing them to unnecessary risk, which is why we follow government and official medical advice at all times. The potential impact of coronavirus infection may vary depending on a person’s specific circumstances, for example, if they have any underlying health conditions. If this relates to you and you are concerned you should consult the NHS website or if you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, your condition gets worse or your symptoms do not get better after 7 days phone 111 to speak to the NHS support line. In order to mitigate any threat from the spread of the COVID-19 virus, we have implemented a proactive plan to protect employees, customers and suppliers from potential exposure to the virus.
We wish to reassure you that our intention is, as far as possible, to maintain business continuity and normal levels of communication with our customers at all times, and the business has put in place measures to help achieve this. We are still taking new instructions.
The rapidly evolving position will continue to be monitored closely by QualitySolicitors Yates & Co. However, as you will appreciate, this is an unprecedented time and it is possible that our high standards of service may be affected, should the reach of the pandemic worsen. Following the latest advice from the UK Government we intend to manage any consequences for our employees, customers and suppliers as follows:
- If customers have paperwork to deliver, we request that this is emailed to us. Paperwork can be posted but as you will appreciate following the governments “lock down” announced 23 May 2020 it is unlikely that we will be able to collect and action your paperwork until the restrictions have been relaxed sufficiently to allow us back into the office.
- With regards to ID verification and proof of address, there are a number of ways to get the relevant documents to us so that we can carry out the necessary legal checks:
- Attaching scans/photos of the documents in an email to us;
- Posting copies of the documents through our letterbox (however, please be aware that following the governments “lock down” announced 23 May 2020 it is unlikely that we will be able to collect and action your paperwork until the restrictions have been relaxed sufficiently to allow us back into the office.
- Visiting a Post Office to have ID certified and then emailing this to us;
- Emailing ID document numbers to us (to enable us to carry out electronic verification checks). Please note that we will require sight of your original identification documents before completion of your legal matter to enable us to complete our verification checks. However, to avoid any unnecessary delay in starting work on your case, we are happy to accept identification documents as detailed above.
- Following the latest instructions from the government and Public Health England (PHE) our office will be closed with immediate effect until further notice.
- Dealing with the signing of all legal documents through the post.
- Using technology (email and telephone) wherever possible when communicating with clients and suppliers.
- Whilst the office is closed, the majority of our staff can work from home and can be contacted by phone and email in the usual way, although you may need to leave a message and request a call back as we cannot guarantee that the staff member will be available to assist at the time of your telephone call.
- If a staff member is unable to work due to illness their emails will be monitored and their work will be allocated to other fee earners who will be able to assist. We will seek to ensure that any disruption is minimised.
It is important that we take proportionate, proactive steps to minimise the spread of COVID-19 and keep our employees, customers and suppliers safe, but try to ensure that our service levels do not drop below our normal excellent standard and our clients' expectations. We appreciate your understanding and flexibility at this time and hope you understand the reasons for this communication and the temporary changes being put in place.
- Posted on January 2, 2018QualitySolicitors Yates & Co is bringing in the New Year fresh-faced with an office move in the heart of Nottingham.Read more...
To welcome clients at the new location, the team are offering 10 per cent off wills and probate services throughout the month of January.