With the outbreak of COVID-19 in SA, we would just like to provide clarity on our way forward.
Emma Pardoe Chartered Accountant (EP) has been monitoring the developments with the COVID-19 coronavirus and would like to inform you of the measures we have put in place to mitigate the spread of the virus.
At EP, the wellbeing of our employees, clients and other stakeholders is important to us. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are following advice from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD).
EP has implemented the following measures to reduce the risks associated with the virus:
- All international and local business travel has been suspended and we are encouraging our people to use virtual conferencing solutions to meet with each other
- Employees returning after travel to affected countries have been requested to self-quarantine for 14 days from the date of arrival back in the country.
- Symptomatic employees have been asked to self-isolate and to consult a healthcare practitioner before returning to work.
- We are following guidance from the WHO and the National Department of Health to protect the health and safety of our people.
- Visitors to our offices will need to complete travel declarations for us to identify whether they have been to a high-risk region in the previous 14 days.
- All our offices are equipped with sufficient soap and hand sanitizer and all surfaces are regularly cleaned with appropriate disinfectant. Regular handwashing is encouraged. All high contact surfaces, such as counter tops, door handles etc., will be disinfected regularly.
- EP enables employees to work remotely and we are confident that our people are prepared should the need arise for staff to self-isolate or to suspend operations at our premises.
- All our client-facing people are fully equipped to ensure they can continue to work effectively from home, at other offices or any other location
- We have policies in place which cover the appropriate way to work securely when out of the office to ensure confidentiality and the protection of data.
- All internet connections on EP laptops are protected using secure VPN technology
- Please engage with EP should you wish to negotiate alternate meeting arrangements and ways of working or discuss any concerns
- Clients may opt for remote consultations and interact via Skype, email or telephone.
- Our people and clients will be encouraged to maintain a distance of at least one metre from each other.
- Handshaking and other forms of physical greeting are discouraged.
- Upon arrival at our offices, hand sanitiser will be provided for all clients.
Our Supply Chain
- We are in touch with our suppliers and service partners who have contractual obligations to have appropriate plans and arrangements in place to ensure the continuity of the supply of goods and services to EP.
- We have the appropriate technology in place to ensure essential business processes continue.
- We are committed to playing our part in slowing the spread of infections, and will adapt our operations as needed to support the Department of Health in its endeavours to achieve this goal.
We wish to thank all our clients, employees and supporters for their patience, understanding and tolerance during this rather testing time. We would also like, however, to reflect and focus on the positives. Disruption changes the way we do and see things, and we should be open to learning the new ways of doing and being in this altered world. It may seem unlikely now, but who knows of the new opportunities that may arise from this.