Douglas Partners is actively monitoring COVID-19 developments in an effort to mitigate any impact to the health and safety of our staff, clients and community. We are committed to continuing to provide a strong level of service to our clients throughout the course of these times.
We would like to share the measures we are currently taking and our business continuity plans, which we continue to review as the situation develops.
COVID-19 Risk Group
Douglas Partners has established a dedicated COVID-19 Risk Group to continually assess the risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and determine appropriate mitigations. Due to the rapidly changing nature of Australian and global developments, this group is meeting regularly to coordinate plans and preparations.
Health, Safety and Wellbeing
We are committed to the health, safety and wellbeing of our employees, clients, suppliers and community. Douglas Partners continues to implement the advice of the Department of Health and respective State Government Public Health Orders.
All employees who meet the Government’s criteria for self-isolation are required not to attend their office or work site for 14 days. Douglas Partners have COVID-19 response protocols in place to deal with anyone who may be a close contact or have a confirmed case of COVID-19. We will endeavour to keep our clients informed of any issues that may impact our services or their staff.
COVID-19 controls are included in our Safe Work Method Statements to cover the risk of transmission.
For the benefit of staff and visitors, we have reinforced good hygiene with education and signage in each of our offices. Hand sanitisers and soap at wash stations continue to be provided. Every office also has the use of contactless thermometers and visitors are required to have a short temperature check upon entry.
Individual action plans are in place to protect the health of vulnerable staff members, including consideration for any vulnerable family members.
We are proactively engaging with our employees on the best ways to support each other through this new paradigm. Various initiatives designed to focus on staff wellbeing have been successfully implemented, with a recent firm-wide survey confirming that 96% of respondents felt their wellbeing was sufficiently supported by the company. We continue to check in with our employees on a regular basis and would be happy to share our initiatives with you.
Physical distancing measures have been implemented across all our operations, including minimising unnecessary face-to-face contact. All meetings are encouraged to take place online or via teleconference.
Our field work and laboratory testing continue to operate in a safe manner with additional measures in place to meet the current precautionary requirements. We are also working with our clients to ensure that preventative measures are being practised on site.
Douglas Partners has postponed all client functions and large meetings at this stage. We look forward to inviting everyone to gather again in due course.
Any overseas or interstate travel plans (work or personal) are required to be reported by our employees in advance. International work travel is no longer permitted. Domestic work travel is restricted to essential travel only, which must be approved by the COVID-19 Risk Group.
To enable us to continue to provide a strong level of service throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our business continuity plan is being reviewed regularly as the situation unfolds.
Prior to the pandemic, the Douglas Group Risk Committee’s business continuity plans contained well-established protocols to manage remote work. This has been augmented to allow for additional teams to work remotely.
Our people have successfully transitioned to remote working arrangements wherever this has been possible. Business units within our offices are being protected via measures that allow for physical distancing across all our operations.
Our network and systems are all accessible remotely and can be managed via our office-based or cloud-based servers.
A natural strength of Douglas Partners lies in our geographical spread with 20 offices across Australia connected by a reliable network and the ability to share workload between these offices. Each office also has a detailed COVID-19 Management Plan specifically tailored for the needs and surroundings of that office and its people.
To our advantage, Douglas Partners does not rely on a complicated supply chain. We are engaging in business continuity discussions with our key suppliers and reviewing their mitigation measures. We have also been assured of their access to essential consumables. We will continue to monitor and engage with our suppliers.
Douglas Partners is confident that foreseeable interruptions have been mitigated and our clients should not notice any changes to the delivery of our services. We recognise that unforeseen circumstances may arise and, as always, we will endeavour to keep our clients informed of any issues that may impact our services.
We encourage our suppliers and clients to stay in close touch with us so that we can continue to work together in supporting our businesses and our people, most importantly, through this time.
If you would like any further information about the measures Douglas Partners is taking in response to COVID-19, please email DPCOVID@douglaspartners.com.au.