My Dear Colleagues
As members of the ANSA McAL Family, your safety and well being are our primary concern.
As such, given this extraordinary time, we have been closely monitoring the coronavirus pandemic and note with grave concern that proven instances of the illness are on the rise in the region.
I have made a personal commitment to secure the well being of our people and do whatever is feasible in these extraordinary times to protect the ANSA McAL family.
I have formed the ANSA McAL Crisis Management Team, who have been diligently working behind the scenes to best protect us against COVID-19.
This is not a time to panic, but certainly a time as a family to be proactive, take the necessary precautions and play a part in protecting ourselves and each other.
Cascading plans and actions are being developed and implemented by our Management and leadership teams across our companies and territories that ANSA McAL operates.
It is important to note that our Group HSSE team first issued a group-wide ‘Coronavirus Protocol for the ANSA McAL Group’ on the 2nd March 2020.
So, here is what we know. The situation was confirmed as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The message from WHO was unequivocal – that humanity’s success in tackling coronavirus effectively is heavily dependent on the actions that organisations take over the next few days to help slow down its spread and avoid overloading health care systems.
Expert advice states that two things must be achieved to stop the spread of this highly infectious illness:
- Hygiene of the person and the work surroundings
- Social distancing between individuals who may unknowingly be infected and contagious
We also know that the elderly and those with certain pre-existing medical conditions are at grave risk.
As a result, here is how we are addressing the current situation and the proactive steps we are taking to minimize any negative repercussions to the realization of our mission.
Note that these measures will be managed through your respective MDs/GMs, HSSE and Sector HR Managers.
- Effective immediately we have cancelled both incoming and outgoing business travel until further notice.
PROTOCOL FOR EMPLOYEES RETURNING FROM ABROAD:
- All staff returning from abroad travel will be requested to self-quarantine for fourteen (14) days prior to returning to work.
- Where possible, the employee will be asked to work from home during this period.
- Employee will be required to visit the Company’s doctor before resuming duties.
- If the nature of the job is such that he/she cannot work from home, then the company will suggest that vacation leave be considered.
- Additional details pertaining to this category of TRAVEL BAN will be shared by your Sector HR Manager.
Taking effect on Monday 16th March 2020, Managers will be required to make necessary provisions to allow staff to work remotely with special consideration for the following:
- Colleagues who are:
• Over the age of 60
• Those who have pre-existing medical conditions such as Heart Disease/Diabetes/Lung Disease/Asthma and Immuno-compromised systems
• Colleagues who may be exhibiting symptoms of the coronavirus.
NOTE: The HR Department at Head Office will determine, by virtue of the nature of jobs WHO can work from home and WHAT minimal presence is required.
Head Office will also determine the leave classification and administration under this category – “WORKING FROM HOME”.
This exercise will take place on Monday 16th March 2020.
CHILD CARE NEEDS:
Considering the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago’s announcement of the closure of all schools in Trinidad and Tobago during the week of Monday 16th March – Friday 20th March 2020, we have asked our GMs/MDs/Managers to exercise discretion by allowing colleagues who have childcare needs to work from home during this period only.
PROTOCOLS AS IT RELATES TO THE PM’S ANNOUNCEMENT ON SCHOOL CLOSURE:
- Employees are not allowed to have children in workplaces, company vehicles or compounds.
- Employees should endeavour to utilize their support systems in caring for their children during this time.
- For households where both parents are required to be at work, one (1) parent is encouraged to stay at home whilst the other goes to work.
- Parents can be allowed to work from home once permission has been granted by the Supervisor/Manager.
- Employees who have no alternative form of childcare will be granted leave and allowed to stay at home. The employee will be asked to submit a self-declaration form to HR:
- Specifying who the dependent is
- The other adults in household and their occupations
- Reason leave is required (as opposed to another family member)
- Single parents will submit a reason for the request
These requirements may expand as we work through this exercise.
A central register will be kept at Head Office of all persons who have been approved to work from home.
The absolutely critical thing now for us, is to ensure your safety AND that of your children/family, whilst we finalize HR policies.
PROCEDURE FOR ANY EMPLOYEE DISPLAYING SYMPTOMS AT WORK:
The following guidelines are provided if you suspect you have the COVID-19 virus at work and must be followed to ensure there is no cross-contamination and to avoid the spread of the virus to other members of staff:
- Immediately quarantine yourself in a self-contained room/secured office area with its own air conditioning. You are not allowed to leave the room/area.
- Immediately notify your HSE Personnel/MD/GM.
- Call the Emergency number provided by Acropolis Medical – IPC Nurse 1 868 776 3860 or The Clinical Triage Department of Acropolis – 1 868 657 3356 Ext: 2013
- All persons handling unwell employees must wear PPE (3M Respirator, gloves and disposable coveralls). These will be distributed by the HSE Leads.
- Once the affected employee has left for medical care, the previously occupied office space must be thoroughly sanitized before re-occupancy. This will be conducted by the Company’ Cleaners utilizing relevant PPE.
- Any employee who is unwell outside of ANSA McAL company premises are asked not to return to work and to seek medical attention immediately and inform their MD/GM/Manager and HSE personnel.
Additionally, though we are confident that you are all briefed on the Do’s and Don’ts of the Coronavirus, as an added precaution and for your benefit, we have developed the ANSA McAL Employee Guidelines, Prevention and Protocol – COVID-19. I ask that you familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations embedded, which now dictates our way of life.
Colleagues, I am acutely aware that these changes to our working arrangements will have an impact on our lives. None of these measures have been taken without careful thought and consideration for safety first, and what this will mean for all us here in our Group.
Further information and regular updates will follow from my office. This will include additional details and shifting protocols being put in place to help protect all of us as we navigate this astonishing period in the world.
I hope you will agree that these measures are the right thing to do and have been developed based on the latest scientific and medical advice and are designed to protect our safety, our families’ safety and the safety of Trinidad and Tobago and wherever we operate in the region. They also demonstrate ANSA McAL’s leadership as a responsible, purpose-led business.
Now, more than ever we need to stay calm, be resourceful and focus on supporting each other.
I know that we will get through this TOGETHER.
ANTHONY N SABGA III
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER