I write to you with a further update following Natalie’s previous email on the subject dated 29th May. As you will be aware following the COVID-19 related lock-down, current advice for England from government is that those that are able to work from home should continue to do so, where possible. However, more positively, in England and across the UK government has embarked upon the process of gradually easing the lock-down in order to restart business, support the economy and also enable people to begin to return to some degree of social normality.
Accordingly there are a number of actions that are being taken at this time by DDCAP to ensure that our office and the building that we are located in will be fully compliant with regulations applicable to business at the time that we return. These actions include, but are not limited to, engagement with third party contractors to advise us as we complete a COVID-19 focused risk assessment of our premises and consider our additional requirements moving forward. Additionally, members of the senior executive are now making visits to our office building to review the actions that are being taken by our landlord’s building management team to ensure that the common areas of 8-10 Grosvenor Gardens are compliant with COVID-19 preventative measures and with government stipulation.
We have updated you as often as reasonably practicable so that you are aware of relevant developments concerning DDCAP and its business, as these impact you individually and as a member of the DDCAP community. Most importantly, we are keen to ensure that you are advised at the earliest practicable time of any envisaged changes to our current working practices, even if they may be some way off. We will continue to keep you updated and, in due course, with be working directly with your team management to ensure detailed planning that will be shared with you in advance of returning to our office based working environments.
In parallel to actions being taken in London, we are continuing to communicate and liaise with Roslan and Cassim in regard to our working practices in Kuala Lumpur and Dubai. Earlier this week Roslan reported that, following a reduction in reported cases of COVID-19 in Malaysia, the Malaysian government had decided to end the CMCO on 9th June 2020 and replace it with a new measure named as “Recovery Movement Control Order” (RMCO) effective from 10th June to 31st August 2020. This measure allows almost all social, religious, business and educational activities to resume in stages under strict controls. However, international travel is not permitted and the country’s borders will remain shut during the new RMCO.
DIFC released a statement on 11th June, advising that premises across the Centre are now able to fully open and entities based in DIFC can now operate at 100 per cent capacity, following their initial return two weeks ago at 50 per cent capacity. The statement advised that whilst day-to-day working environments will feel different, changes are being made in the interests of the health and wellbeing of everyone. Precautionary and social distancing measures remain in place.
Wherever you are located and working, we will continue to progress with our return to the workplace strategy and planning with full consideration for the well-being of our Group staff. That is our priority. In the meantime the directors have agreed that, with the exceptions I refer to in this note, all personnel within all Group offices will be asked to continue to work remotely until 3rd July 2020 as we continue to review the data released by government showing the impacts of easing the lock-down. As we have said before, we are not proposing that a return to the office for everybody will immediately follow this date, however we are developing the plans for our return to the workplace in accordance with Group policies and with the ongoing actions and initiatives taken by government in the UK and by other authorities relevant to our overseas office locations.
In the meantime I would like to thank each of you, once again, on behalf of the directors and the shareholders, for your positive approach to our business and its operations during this unprecedented and difficult time. We are aware that some colleagues have been more comfortable with remote working practices than others and we fully appreciate the efforts that you have each made to accommodate our working transition, whilst ensuring that our policies, permissions and procedures are adhered to and the good governance of DDCAP business activities is upheld.
Please stay safe and well and if you have any questions or concerns about this note or any related matter, please do not hesitate to contact Natalie or me.
Stella Cox CBE
8-10 Grosvenor Gardens