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SFHA confirms detail of Covid guidance with Scottish Government

Social landlords should continue to follow Guidance for businesses and workplaces, released on 16 December. 

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Following this week’s Social Housing Resilience Group meeting, SFHA can confirm that there are no further updates to the Scottish Government’s Covid-19 guidance which was released on 16 December. 

Social landlords should continue to follow Guidance for businesses and workplaces on reducing the risk of Covid-19 and supporting staff and customers. SFHA has also received further clarification from Scottish Government as to the provision of services under current restrictions. Please see below. 

What services should continue? 

  • It is important that essential housing services to tenants continue. This includes both emergency and routine repairs, voids processing, allocations and lettings, dealing with anti-social behaviour, tenancy sustainment and homelessness prevention work. 

  • Repairs, safety checks and essential maintenance of occupied and unoccupied properties will continue to be compliant with current guidance, and the Scottish Government recognises that these are essential to the wellbeing, safety and functioning of households.  

  • Home moves continue to be permitted, and associated activity in support of house moves should continue as part of essential housing services including within people’s homes. 

  • As such, social landlords should continue to prioritise repairs, void processing, lettings and moving people on from temporary accommodation to permanent homes 

  • However, given the increased public health risk, and the need to safeguard health and protect the workforce and communities, it is of increased importance that these services are delivered in a manner that minimises the risk of transmission.   

Working in other people’s homes 

When working in other people’s homes, it is still important to take actions and implement measures to limit the risk of transmission of the virus. This is important for limiting the risk to yourself/your employees but also the risk to those living in the house where the work is taking place. 

  • Before entering other people’s homes, workers should undertake an LFD test on the day, prior to attendance. 

  • Householders should also undertake an LFD test on the day, prior to the visit. The Scottish Government is encouraging householders, particularly those on the high-risk List, to ask people who are working in their home to take an LFD test first. 

  • If anyone in the house is self-isolating, staff should not enter unless the work required is essential/an emergency. 

  • Employers should also encourage staff to test twice weekly and on every occasion they intend to mix socially with people from other households. 

  • As with any workplace, risk assessments are important in identifying risks and how they can be controlled. Contractors should also undertake a risk assessment for working in someone else’s home that covers Covid. 

  • Staff should wear a face covering, especially when moving through the home or engaging with any of the householders. They may want to ask members of the household to wear a face covering when engaging, though it should be remembered that not everyone is able to wear one. 

  • Ventilation of the workspace/home should be maximised to allow circulation of fresh air. 

  • Workers should try to keep a reasonable distance from individuals in the household 

  • When travelling to/from the work location, consider the relevant guidance. 

  • If you employ individuals who are required to work in other people’s homes, you should continue to work with these individuals, or their representatives, on health and safety matters. 

  • You should also follow, and support workers to follow, self-isolation guidance  and ensure regular risk assessments are undertaken to help identify if any other measures can be taken to help protect staff and others.    

Home working: 

All social landlords should review their operations and make sure that every single function that can be done from home is being carried out in that way.   

SFHA members can email SFHA Director of Policy and Membership Aaron Hill ahill@sfha.co.uk if they have any questions.

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