Keeping our members and staff safe whilst continuing to be available to provide advice, guidance, support and assistance as and when required is SPAEN’s key priority and it is with this in mind that we have taken the decision to follow and implement, fully, the Scottish and UK Governments’ advice issued last evening and have taken a number of steps which will change how we do this.
From today (17.03.20), SPAEN’s office in Bellshill will remain closed. This will be constantly reviewed and we will continue to follow Government advice on when to re-open. As a consequence, all office and home visits scheduled will also be cancelled or re-scheduled for a later date. This is done primarily to ensure we do not put any of the people we work with at risk of transmission of Corona virus.
We are conscious that some people may be asymptomatic (have no symptoms) but may still be affected by and therefore pass on Corona virus so simply checking with our staff that they have no symptoms was not sufficiently reliable in seeking to keep you safe.
SPAEN has a very detailed and well-rehearsed Business Continuity Plan and this is now being implemented. This should ensure that you continue to receive the supports and services that you want and need throughout the period that the office is closed, with the exception of face-to-face visits.
For people wishing face-to-face support, we can facilitate video calling using our telephone system and this is available to every SPAEN member at all times. We’re glad we implemented this well in advance and hope that it eases some of the difficulty of not being able to provide home or office visits.
You should continue to phone the SPAEN telephone number (01698 250280) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org (or the individual or service if you have their direct e-mail address) and we will continue to respond to all your enquiries. When phoning the SPAEN office, you will still be asked to select from 1 for Membership Services; 2 for Payroll services etc. Please continue to use these options as this will direct your enquiry to the right person.
Payroll and Managed Account customers should continue to submit timesheets or other requests to email@example.com and these will be processed in the usual timescales. The deadlines for submitting payroll information remains the same, so please ensure you help us by having this information to us on time. If you normally post your timesheets, we will be collecting mail from the office so these will continue to be processed to.
I would re-iterate our advice to all PA employers – PLAN ahead. If you can, have casual contracts in place for emergency care and support if your PA is unable to attend work at short-notice. We are working with PA Network Scotland to develop an “emergency list” of available PA’s from all across Scotland.
If you require emergency cover, please get in touch and we’ll do what we can to link you with PA’s in your area however we strongly recommend having other informal supports in place too.
It may take us a few hours to get our remote systems up and running but after this period, you should see business as normal. We recognise these are not normal times and I would encourage you to get in touch if there’s anything at all that we can do to assist – PA employment related or not. We will do all we can.
Like everyone else, we hope the guidance to “socially distance” is not in place for too long and that you all remain safe and well during these challenging times. We will be working on other ideas to help people stay connected and supported and will hopefully have more to follow on this in due course.
Our first priority is ensuring the core services are still available and that we do everything we can to keep each of us safe and supported.
Chief Executive Officer