A mask wearing policy seems to becoming redundant as more and more advisers embrace flexible working.
Earlier this week, Health & Protection quizzed insurers up and down the country to find out about their mask policies ahead of 19 July when it is expected that the the legal obligation on wearing a face covering will be removed.
One of the largest brokers in the country, LifeSearch’s head of people and culture, Andrew Parker, told Health & Protection at the time that its staff will shape their own view on mask wearing dependant on their personal risk factors, their vaccination status and the circumstances they find themselves in day to day.
But throwing the question open to the wider adviser population, Health & Protection has found that flexible working is making the formulation of a mask wearing policy redundant.
Isaac Feiner, director at LifePoint Healthcare, said that as his staff were now fully remote, there was no need for an office mask wearing policy.
Similarly, Penny O’Nions, principal at The Onion Group, told Health & Protection that following a poll of the firm’s stakeholders it has taken the decision that as far as possible staff will continue to work from home.
“It saves the hassle and cost of travel, staff like the flexibility of being at home for children or if they are carers.
“Our philosophy is, as long as the work is done, filed and the clients happy, we are fulfilling our duty and everyone is happy.
“Post is on redirect and unless a client demands a face-to-face meeting, all conferences are conducted remotely by a propriety secure system. We use share screen and any urgent document exchange is made via the system used by the Courts of England and Wales or by courier and post.”
O’Nions noted that regular training sessions have continued and the firm has been delivering boxes to employees’ homes to compensate for what would have been available to them in the office such as continental breakfast, hot filled rolls, sandwiches and even traditional afternoon tea.
“It has worked so far and we have no reason to believe it will not simply get better as technology becomes more robust,” she added.
Mutual respect policy
Guy Jones, director at Berwick Devoil, told Health & Protection his firm will be following a “mutual respect” policy after 19 July.
“Seeing a client face-to-face in the same physical space will be viewed very much as a what would the individuals like to do.
“If our client would prefer masks then of course we will be wearing one too. If our adviser wants the meeting wearing a mask I am sure the client would also respect that position.
“Having not met with clients other than via Zoom, Teams or Face Time in the past 16 months it will be interesting if face-to-face meetings will be required at all, though I think this will be a generational issue.”