Updated: March 24, 2020
At Simpsons Malt, the health and safety of our staff and business partners is of utmost importance to us.
Since mid-February, we have been issuing regular updates to our staff and customers about the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak and how it may impact the company, which has aligned with advice issued by the Government.
In the briefing issued on March 23, the Government announced further restrictions on businesses and ordered all those that are ‘non-essential’ to close immediately.
Simpsons Malt is categorised as ‘essential’. As part of the food industry, our agricultural merchanting division McCreath, Simpson & Prentice has a role to play in supporting our farming customers in the growing of their crops for the upcoming season. For our malting customers, meanwhile, their products go into both the food and drink industries. So, at this point, we are still expecting to be open to do this.
However, the Simpsons Malt Business Continuity Team – who are meeting daily to discuss the impact of COVID-19 – have a comprehensive list of measures currently in place to ensure that our employees remain healthy and are always abiding by the Government’s guidelines.
They are as follows:
- Wherever possible, employees are working from home. Over the past week, more than 100 employees have been doing that and we are arranging for others that can work from home to do so with immediate effect. All of our homeworking staff remain fully contactable, with their landline numbers redirected to their mobile numbers.
- Plans have been put in place for colleagues in categories defined by the Government as ‘vulnerable’ and ‘extremely vulnerable’ to work from home.
- Plans have been put in place for colleagues who are struggling with childcare arrangements to stay at home.
- For colleagues who do still need to come into work to support our operations, we are doing everything we can to enable Social Distancing on our sites, so they are not in a position where they are unnecessarily at risk.
- Sanitising foam/gel and disposable tissues have been made widely available to staff so that they can follow good hygiene practices.
- While currently operating at 100% production levels, we are continuing to build detailed resilience plans to cope with reduced personnel, should a number of staff be absent due to the virus.
- All off-site visits by employees to third party sites have been stopped, except those deemed to be business critical (eg. Agronomists visiting farms alone to oversee crops). Likewise, all visits to our sites have been stopped.
- Contracted works will be limited to essential works and Contractor employees coming to our sites will be asked to complete a questionnaire to identify persons at higher risk of carrying the virus. Any such person will be refused.
We hope you fully understand the necessity for these measures and apologise for any inconvenience they cause.
Managing Director, Simpsons Malt Ltd