Important Client Update COVID-19: Open for Business
Greaves West & Ayre (GWA) would like to reassure you that the health and future of our staff and clients is extremely important to us.
For a number of weeks we have been regularly reviewing the developing COVID-19 situation and have made necessary changes to our way of working both inside our offices and more recently to the way we are managing our external relationships.
The Prime Minister’s announcement earlier this week prompted us to close all of our offices until further notice. Since then, we have been taken aback by our client’s positive feedback and we really do appreciate your patience and forbearance.
GWA is Open for Business
The message we now want to get across is our offices may be closed but GWA is definitely open for business. The way we have to conduct business has changed, for obvious reasons. However, we are here to help and if we all keep working to the best of our ability, we will come through these incomprehensible times together.
We are urging you to continue to contact us by phone and to continue to send us your documents and records. Where possible we would like the documents to be sent electronically. We have a GWA online portal, which provides a secure method of passing information between us. If you have not used this facility before, please do get in touch and we will guide you through setting it up. It should be quite a simple process.
Where you cannot send documents electronically, they can be delivered to our offices. However, we have put in place strict procedures which will need to be followed. They are there to keep our clients safe, our staff safe and maintain our offices as safe environments.
We have not been asked to close our doors completely as we are considered a ‘key business’. If for no better reason than to ensure the 3,500 people employed by clients for whom GWA manage their pay schemes continue to get paid.
That being said we are very aware of the government’s counsel to keep people at home and as such we have a skeleton staff across our premises to allow for the restricted business practices outlined below. All other staff are working at home and you are able to contact them in the usual way by phone or email. As such, you should notice no difference even though our people are working remotely. And, we assure you that client confidentiality and security of data will not be compromised.
Dropping off Documents
Our offices are closed but can still be used as a drop off point for any documents you are unable to send us digitally by following these procedures:
- you must call in advance to arrange a drop off time for your documents – you can contact us using the existing phone numbers for our offices
- we will limit when clients can arrive to ensure the required social distancing guidelines are not compromised
- on arrival, place your documents by the door and step back until a staff member arrives
- our staff member will follow strict hygiene requirements and pick up your records, check, at a safe distance, any specific requests you may have and bring the records into the office
- the box or container you use to deliver the documents will be cleaned and placed in a ‘quarantined’ room for 48 hours before any work commences
- we will scan as many records as possible to be sent to staff who are working remotely. Where this is not possible, we will arrange for staff members to pick up (or drop off) work following the same quarantine procedures outlined above
- when a client’s job is complete, we will contact you and arrange a time when you can pick your documents up. We will again follow the same procedures when you pick up your documents as when you dropped them off
- if you are unable or would prefer not to bring documents to the office personally, in order to keep your business operations moving, we would encourage you to arrange for a courier to make any deliveries or pick ups.
Communications and Updates
We are fielding an exceptional number of requests for assistance and we thank you for your patience. There are an incredible number of government announcements and we know that they still require detail and clarification.
Your business, like that of GWA, will not be operating as normal. You may be worried about cash flow; what exactly is a furloughed employee; you still need to complete a VAT return to obtain a COVID-19 related VAT deferral. We absolutely understand these and the many other challenges because we are dealing with them too. Don’t stop asking us for support. We are here to help.
We will continue to communicate with you regularly via email updates and you will also find our latest guidance here on our website, our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. We will also be calling clients directly to reassure you and check if there is any specific support you require.
As you would expect, we are constantly reviewing and abiding by the latest government guidance. The health of our employees is our priority. Our business is all about people. Without our GWA team of people we are no longer able to support you, our clients, and your people.
We are living through the most serious pandemic in living memory and we are determined to stand side by side with our clients for the long term. Once again, we encourage you to contact us if you need support. Our phone numbers and email addresses remain as they were.
We would like to thank you for standing by us for the last 100 years, and no more so than now. We know that if we all continue to put people first, we will come through this.