Business Continuity Plan | March 26

The purpose of this statement is to provide an update on our Business Continuity Plan and current working practices.
We recognise that this is a period of significant concern for our staff, clients and the members of schemes that we serve. Our approach is to ensure we protect staff and we are able to continue providing all of our current services to our clients, ensuring we are in compliance with government guidelines at all times.

We also recognise that most UK businesses are having to address dramatic changes in their operating environment. Our approach is therefore to work in partnership with suppliers.

In summary, we have successfully implemented our Business Continuity Plan with the vast majority of staff working from home with the necessary access to systems / data and in a position to continue supporting our clients and members. A skeleton staff remain in certain offices to cover essential tasks that cannot currently be carried out remotely (i.e. certain printing / postage). However, over time, we anticipate the number of staff attending an office will further reduce and we will temporary close more offices. Our focus is now moving to how we can support staff to maintain their mental and physical health over this period.

A more detailed update of the current measures in force is below. A further more detailed update covering more specific points in relation to our administration business is also available.

Our approach to coronavirus


XPS recognise that this is a fast moving and unpredictable situation. We have established a working party to manage our response, headed by our Chief Operating Officer, with oversight from our Executive Committee.

All staff have been provided with guidance on good practice measures that should be taken to help protect themselves against the new coronavirus, along with instructions on what actions they should take if they believe they may have been in contact with the virus. Our priority has been to protect our staff and to continue to support our clients and their members.

We have implemented home working for the vast majority of staff and significantly strengthened our ability to support widespread remote working. Staff should be contactable by email or phone in the usual way. We are also supporting all client meeting requirements via video or voice technology, which is proving to be very successful.

Teams across our business are using the same technology to stay in touch with each other and to maintain a focus on productivity and priority setting, as well as using it as a mechanism to “check in” with colleagues as we strive to maintain the mental health of our people.

A key part of our implementing home working was to ensure that we can continue to protect our data and systems from external threat and to ensure that staff were provided with appropriate guidance around protecting data when working remotely.

We have reviewed our supply chain to ensure our key providers have appropriate arrangements in place and we are identifying appropriate contingency plans e.g. alternate approved suppliers.

For the small number of staff continuing to work in offices, they have been asked to ensure that they are adhering to ‘social distancing’ measures and all guidance issued by Public Health England. Staff are sufficiently spread out and have staggered start, finish and break times. We are continuing to explore how we can further reduce this number.

In the event of a total ‘lock-down’, we have confirmed that remote working is possible for all critical staff and processes and have made sure that we have the associated equipment / technology required to ensure we can continue to provide core services (including pensioner payroll, client banking & investment transactions).

We are monitoring levels of absence and sickness on a daily basis. We are not currently experiencing any increase in levels of staff absence.

We have validated and used our staff emergency communication facility, which enables us to notify and provide updates to our staff by text messaging, as well as confirming local plans. We are also developing plans to maintain staff well-being in the event of a prolonged period of home working.

Communication


We shall continue to monitor UK Government guidance and will adapt our plans in response to any change. We will proactively provide further communication as the situation develops.

Should you have any specific questions please contact: risk@xpsgroup.com