We open by sending our best wishes to you and your families and trust that you are all keeping safe and well.
Last week we launched our online survey to all Dentists and Practice Managers. This will allow us to understand how and when they intend to return and what services they will be offering to their patients when they do so. We are collating the responses and will share them with you in due course.
We have been keeping up to date with our customers over the phone, with leading industry advisors and key opinion leaders and have a few ideas on how the new normal for Dentistry may look in the beginning and for the foreseeable future. However, rest assured that as the biggest laboratory in the UK, that we are agile and able to deal with any changes that need to be made.
Following yesterday’s Government announcement by the Prime Minister over the next few weeks we will begin to phase in returning to work, this will be a phased return approach based on customer demands. It is, of course, difficult for us to know how we will phase colleagues back into the business.
Once we phase back into work, our primary responsibility is to ensure the health and safety of our colleagues.
The biggest challenges and one of upmost importance to us is upholding the social distancing rule. We are therefore proposing shift work for production on all sites, which will allow us to ensure that we follow guidelines on social distancing by significantly reducing the number of colleagues on-site at any one time. Additionally, this will reduce the number of people you are working with on a daily basis.
Production staff shift patterns:
- 6.00am to 2.30pm
- 3.00pm to 11.30pm
As you will note there is a thirty-minute cross over between shifts to ensure that all staff are out of the building before the new shift arrives. We are also proposing to reduce the lunch hour to thirty minutes to accommodate an eight-hour working day.
The above shifts will be allocated on a rotating basis to ensure fairness across all employees. However, should there be a shift that you are absolutely unable to do (e.g. 6.00am – 2.30pm on a Wednesday), we ask that you inform HR via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) within the next 7 days from the date of this update, stating your reasons why you cannot accommodate the shift, and we will take this into consideration. Please note, at this stage, we cannot guarantee that all ‘preferred’ shifts can be accommodated.
Our primary concern is to ensure your safety, and your cooperation during these unprecedented time will be greatly appreciated.
Administration & Support staff:
We are currently reviewing how we can safely bring our admin and support teams back into the business, as working opposite shifts is not currently a practical solution for these roles.
To confirm, we will be phasing employees back to work based on customer demand and this may vary by department.
You will be notified when you are expected to return to work, please do not return to the laboratory until you are notified.
You will continue to be on Furlough Leave until informed by your line manager or HR. If you are requested to return to work but are experiencing any difficulties in doing so, you are requested to contact either HR or your line manager as soon as possible.
The Practices that we work with have stated that is their intention to address the backlog of patients and are anticipating working extra hours during the coming months. The new working patterns and shifts will assist in supporting our Practices and help to protect us all.
We are committed to returning as soon as it is safely possible to do so and are confident that as a team and by working together, we will back stronger, bigger and better.
We thank you all for your continued support through these unprecedented times and send our best wishes to you and your families.
Roy and Mark.