Please find below a list of the most commonly asked questions from UK employees relating to coronavirus (COVID-19). We will continue to update this information as the situation unfolds. The answers and advice below are subject to review and may change at any time. If there is a question you still need answering, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
**Please note that given the new National Lockdown in effect until mid-February, everyone who can work from home effectively is advised to do so. You can read more in the latest Message from Charlie.
Who do I need to inform if I plan to come into the office?
All employees and contractors who work at London, Bradford and Reading offices must register themselves and reserve space via Mapiq Office Shifts. This is a browser-based application that allows you to register your selected days up to three weeks in advance.
When you go onto the website for the first time, please enter your work email address to enter the site. Also, please note that you should use Edge, Chrome or Firefox instead of Internet Explorer to access Mapiq, as Mapiq doesn’t work in Internet Explorer. Read the Mapiq Office Shifts Guide to find out more about how to use Mapiq Office Shifts or check the Mapiq Office Shifts FAQs.
If you are going into the office for any reason (including printing, a quick meeting, lunch or coffee with a colleague, etc..), you must register. If you are collecting something from reception and will not enter the office, you do not need to register.
Your health and safety continues to be our number one priority – and using the Mapiq tool allows us to manage the capacity of the buildings while maintaining proper social distancing.
How do I book in to work from another Virgin Media site?
Please email PMO-Property@virginmedia.co.uk requesting access to the site in question and the day on which you’d like to visit. The request will be reviewed to ensure there is capacity on the day and date requested. An email will then be issued back, confirming if it is possible to visit the site on that day.
I don’t feel comfortable returning to the office. Will I be penalized in any way?
No. Our number one priority is your health and safety. No one should be taking any action that puts their health at risk. The current government guidance is to work from home if you can.
We recognize that everyone has specific circumstances that will impact their decisions. Please work with your line manager to agree an approach that works best for you.
Does our approach fall in line with local government guidance?
We continue to review government guidance and our approach in the UK is that people should work from home if they can.
If people need to go into the office, we have followed all government guidance to create a COVID-secure workplace and we encourage everyone going into our offices to ensure they familiarize themselves with the current guidance, as this is subject to change.
When I work in the office, do I need to keep to my standard working hours?
No. We continue to follow government advice, which is to work from home if you can. If you need to go into the office, and need to make adjustments to accommodate this, please speak to your line manager.
If I need to work in the office, who determines the days that I go in?
With advance planning, you will be able to attend at a time which best suits you. There will, however, be a limit to the numbers who can attend the office at any one point while maintaining the correct social distancing. That is why we request you follow the correct process to ensure you can come in to the office, which is to use the Mapiq booking tool.
How do we ensure that the office environment is sanitized frequently if we are all hot desking?
The office will continue to be cleaned according to the revised and intensified cleaning schedule. At the same time, cleaning wipes are readily available for any additional cleaning.
What are the key things I should know about working in the office?
We’ve filmed a short video to show you what it’s like to work in the office. We’ve also put together a Workplace Safety Guide with the highlights of the things you need to know if you’d like to work in the office.
Can a few people from the same team come into the office on the same day?
Yes, if they need to. With the social distancing requirements currently in place, there is an inevitable impact on the number of desks available and how we can use the space.
The Facilities team has provided your MD with the maximum number of desks available in your area. Please note, the maximum number of people allowed on site is subject to change. Requests for team access/bulk requests granting more than one person access to Griffin House should be submitted as soon as possible to secure entry.
Will we be doing temperature checks at our offices?
No. The government does not advise testing.
I am planning to cycle to work. Will I be able to securely store my bike on site?
Yes. There is capacity for 60 bikes to be parked on site. We’ll monitor usage and, if there’s greater demand than usual, there’s a fast turnaround contingency plan in place to increase the number of bike racks if we need to.
Can I use the showers?
Yes, the showers are open and you are able to access the shower facilities on the third floor at Griffin House in the usual way.
If I wanted to drive, is it possible to secure a space?
Parking is very limited at Griffin House. There is an expectation that MDs work with their teams to balance when team members are in the office with access to the parking that they have.
What arrangements have been made in the office to allow me to maintain social distancing?
We have clearly marked signage and directional arrows throughout the office. We’ve also undertaken a COVID-19 risk assessment and we encourage you to read it.
Will I need to wear a mask or facial covering in the office?
Yes. We are requiring you wear a face covering any time you are away from your desk. For example, if you are in the atrium, the coffee and kitchen areas or are walking around the building. You do not have to wear a face covering if you are sitting at your desk or are in a closed meeting room.
If you require a face mask, we have plenty available at reception.
Is the cafe/restaurant open?
No. At this point, we’ve made the decision to close the cafes and restaurants at our various UK sites due to very low demand.
How do I know if I’m a member of what’s classified as a vulnerable group or population?
The guidance is on the UK government website.
My line manager is asking me about my personal medical conditions. Do I have to tell them?
No. Asking for medical information is not allowed due to privacy legislation. If you have concerns, please contact People Services.
I want to hold a team meeting at Griffin House. What are the guidelines?
All of the meeting rooms in Griffin House are clearly marked with the maximum capacity they can hold to remain compliant with social distancing requirements. Currently, our largest meeting room can hold a maximum of six people.
What is the guidance for large meetings and events at a Liberty Global site?
No large meetings or events are allowed at any of our sites. That means any town halls, all-hands, etc… must remain virtual.
What is the guidance for large meetings and events hosted externally?
Your are not allowed to attend any large meetings, events, conferences, etc… that are hosted externally.
What is the guidance for using meeting rooms, common areas and hubs?
All meeting rooms and common areas have guidance posted about the maximum number of people that can be in the room or area at any one time. Currently, our largest meeting room can hold a maximum of six people, subject to social distancing constraints.
How should I greet people, given our extra hygiene measures?
Social distancing remains critical, so it is vital to avoid shaking hands, greeting people with kisses or hugs, and to follow hygiene measures in place.
What are the cleaning procedures for the office?
A rigorous cleaning schedule will be followed and wipes and hand sanitizer will be provided. However, we urge you to please take responsibility for your desk and any other areas that you use and wipe them down before and after use.
All door handles and buttons have been installed with hygienic handles or covers.
Who should I contact for more information about working in the office?
If you need more information about any of the above working in the office guidelines, please email: GriffinHouseEnquiries@libertyglobal.com.
Are there any tax reliefs/expense claims I can make as a result of working from home?
HMRC, the UK tax authority, has updated its guidance to state that UK taxpayers may be able to claim tax relief for additional household costs if you have to work at home on a regular basis, either for all or part of the week. This includes if you have to work from home because of coronavirus. Additional costs include things like heating, metered water bills, home contents insurance, business calls or a new broadband connection. They do not include costs that would stay the same whether you were working at home or in an office, such as mortgage interest, rent or council tax.
How much is the tax relief?
You may be able to claim tax relief up to the value of:
- £6 a week from 6 April 2020 (for the 2019/20 UK tax year the rate was £4 a week) or
- the exact amount of extra costs you’ve incurred above the weekly amount – you’ll need evidence such as receipts, bills or contracts.
Any tax relief is based on the rate at which you pay tax. For example, if you pay the 20% basic rate of tax and claim tax relief on £6 a week you would expect to receive £1.20 per week in tax relief (20% of £6).
Is this something Liberty Global can assist with?
No. This is a personal tax relief claim individual UK taxpayers may choose to make.
How do I make the claim and how will I receive the tax back?
You can review the eligibility criteria and make a claim by following the link below:
If your claim is successful, it is likely that HMRC will adjust your tax code, which will provide you with the relevant amount of tax relief until the end of the 2020/21 UK tax year. This tax code will be used by UK payroll, however, Liberty Global has no influence over when HMRC will issue you an updated tax code, nor the amount of tax relief it will provide you. If you have any questions relating to your tax code you should contact HMRC directly to discuss this using the link below:
What if I file a tax return?
If you already file a Self-Assessment tax return you will not be able to make a claim using the above process and any claim (where applicable) would need to be made when you submit your tax return.
What if I have any questions about eligibility or how to make a claim?
Liberty Global are not able to advise as to whether you will be eligible to make a claim or to answer any questions relating to this tax relief. Any questions should be directed to HMRC to resolve, or you will need to engage with an independent financial adviser or tax professional.