- About us
- Covid-19: our approach
The situation surrounding coronavirus continues to move quickly but we have been working successfully to help clients meet their objectives and priorities without interruption.
"I am proud and inspired by the way our firm has risen to the challenge of working through the pandemic – with flexibility, resilience and a caring heart."
Prior to the pandemic, Barnett Waddingham had a number of measures in place to ensure business continuity when dealing with any significant disruptions, and these are tested regularly as part of our robust Business Continuity Plan. Since the beginning of the lockdown, many of these measures have allowed us to deal ably with the situation.
- All of our 1,250+ people have laptops with video conferencing software and most are now working remotely, being contactable by phone and email in the usual way. Our ongoing investment in IT systems ensured that we were already working in a largely paperless manner and our people can access all necessary documentation and systems remotely, whilst following our secure processes and controls.
Thanks to the preparedness of our Pension Administration team, over
pensioners successfully received their payment as normal amid the first week of the lockdown.
- We have eight separate UK offices. Following the UK Government’s latest guidance on slowing the spread of Covid-19 by working in safe and hygienic environments, all of our offices are now open with strict safety measures in place to keep risks to a minimum. At this time, a small number of key workers are present on a regular basis in these offices and we are now advising all our people and visitors in accordance with the Government’s three-tiered system for Local Covid Alert Levels (12/10/2020). Those in High and Very High risk areas are encouraged to reduce their journeys to and from the office where possible. We have a small number of colleagues who have chosen to work in the office on a part-time or full-time basis if they are unable to work effectively from home. Our offices are currently running at around 30% occupancy to maintain safe social distancing. We continue to monitor guidance to best determine how we reintroduce our people back in a sensible manner and over a sensible period of time. Owing to Scottish Government advice, opening hours of our Glasgow office will vary.
- While meetings can take place in offices within Medium risk areas, our preference is for virtual alternatives where possible. Face-to-face client meetings and interviews in offices that sit within High or Very High risk areas are only allowed where this format is strictly necessary.
- Following UK Government guidance we have been advised that face coverings are now mandatory for most people (unless they have a genuine reason not to - see exemptions list HERE) where social distancing may be difficult when visiting businesses providing professional, legal or financial services. We ask that when you visit, you wear a mask (please bring your own) to arrive at the office and you do not shake hands or make physical contact with any other people in your meeting. We will require you to use hand sanitiser on entry to our office. Only remove your mask once you are in the meeting room.
- At this time we encourage all clients to send any correspondence, where possible, via email or through BWebstream which we use to share files securely with clients, members and other contacts alike.
- We continue to process and receive electronic payments in the usual way and we encourage any members and clients to use electronic payments rather than cheques to avoid settlement delays if sending us money.
satisfaction rating of
for the experience of returning to the office, based on our survey of BW workers who have so far returned.
of our workers returning to the office who responded to our survey said they felt safe, supported, informed and had good provision of sanitising products.
- We have secure and reliable telephone and video conferencing facilities available for use to ensure client meetings continue uninterrupted. Our information security standards are internationally certified.
- Safety measures within our offices currently include one-way systems and access points, two-metre distancing, ample provisions of sanitation products, and regular deep cleaning of equipment, surfaces and furnishings.
- We have run regular employee wellness surveys and checks to help our people adjust to the changes. These have been well received and will continue to help inform us of preferences to working practices and actions.
- We have continued our training programmes and staff development initiatives. This includes on-boarding of new staff, which now combines both virtual and in-office induction and training.
- Longer term, we are reviewing our ‘smart working’ policy based on staff feedback and also what best meets our clients' needs. Our approach going forward is to identify the right balance of working from an office, and those working from home to support our clients. We envisage a combination of home and office working continuing for the foreseeable future and possibly longer term in some cases.
We continue to monitor the situation as it develops, and will take the appropriate action as necessary. We want you to know how much we appreciate your flexibility and understanding during this time. Should you have any queries whatsoever, please speak with your key contact(s) at Barnett Waddingham as soon as possible.
Some feedback from our clients and members
"Barnett Waddingham’s transition to work from home during the coronavirus has been exceptional. To be frank, I didn’t even notice on my first call. To me, it feels like business as usual."
"Online logging in is unaffected. I’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you for such a robust virtual work from home transition."
"It is great to see that BW are proactive and efficient…communication like this goes a long way to help justify the decision we made to change SIPP providers."