Staff news and information

Update from our CEO, Martin Chown - Friday 25 September 2020

Update from Martin Chown

NHS COVID-19 app

The NHS has today launched its COVID- 19 app. It’s designed to help stop the spread of the virus, by alerting people when they have come into contact with someone who has tested positive.

Similar apps are being used across the world, and their success is dependent on enough people using them.

However, the NHS has also advised that these apps are not designed for use in some workplaces – for example offices or on the shop floor where other measures are in place to protect people.

At Sellafield Ltd, measures such as our Enterprise Risk Assessment and Sellafield Ltd test and trace capability are in place to allow employees to attend work safely.

Therefore, we ask that people disable the contact tracing element of the NHS COVID-19 app when they are in any Sellafield Ltd workplace.

The app can still be used for its venue check in functionality in our canteens.

Other features, such as QR code scanning at canteens, can continue to be used.

Should you be identified as a contact through the app during the working day, you should book a test at the Sellafield Ltd Test and Trace Facility and self-isolate until you have the result.

Those wishing to use the app outside of work can find it on their usual device app store.

Support information can be found here.. You may need to forward this link to your own device.

Reporting potential cases

The process to be followed if you develop symptoms or are identified as a contact through the NHS app is:

  • Employee is in one of 3 situations:
  1. Has COVID-19 symptoms and has received a positive test result

  2. Is isolating due to being a confirmed close contact

  3. Has COVID-19 symptoms and is isolating pending a test

  • Employee informs their line manager or superintending officer (SO) if they are a contractor

  • Line manager/SO notes the situation (a, b or c), employee’s name, Peoplesoft number and a contact number

  • Line manager emails (Official-Sensitive: Personal) this information to the COVID-19 inbox covid19@sellafieldsites.com and raises an anonymised condition report.

  • The Test and Trace Team will start contact tracing for employees who have been identified as positive, either through the NHS system or as a result of a Sellafield Ltd test.

Full details on our test and trace system can be found here.

Contact tracing in our canteens – NHS QR code app

We recently introduced contact tracing in our canteens and tea bars in order to comply with government legislation.

We are now ready to introduce the QR codes, you will need to have the NHS COVID-19 App on your smart phone in order to scan the code. This will allow you to leave your contact details electronically.

More information on the NHS app is available here. (You may need to access this on your personal device.)

The QR codes will be available from Thursday 24 September at the canteen and tea bar entrances.

Please make sure to maintain social distancing whilst waiting to scan the app or fill in the details log.

Much like in pubs and restaurants and on the manual entry forms, which are already in use in the canteens, you will be asked to provide your name, phone number and the date and time you entered the canteen or tea bar.

You only need to register on either the form or using the QR code, everyone who visits a canteen or tea bar MUST register their details. You don’t need to log when you leave the canteen.

Assurance checks will be carried out throughout the day to make sure that people are complying.

Information provided on the forms will be securely held for 21 days in line with GDPR.

Come and join us for an early celebration of World Menopause Day

World Menopause Day 2020 takes place on Sunday 18 October, and across the globe people will be acknowledging, and expanding their knowledge of, the menopause. We plan to mark the occasion too.

On Thursday 15 October we’ll be hosting a virtual online event.

Attendance is inclusive and open to the Sellafield Ltd workforce - including both men and women who would like to find out more about the menopause and its impacts.

We’ll have lots on offer during the day, including keynote speaker, Julie Dennis who helps to inform leaders and improve the experience of people working through menopause.

There will be lots of information on hand, including a question panel who will answer those menopause questions that you’ve been wanting to ask and never have.

We’ll have a quiz session and a live pilates session should you wish to join, as well as plenty of opportunity to network with likeminded people.

The event will be hosted virtually via Zoom webinar, so you’ll need to register with your personal email address and access the event on your own device.

Register in advance for this meeting by clicking on this link.

If you can’t attend live, a recording will be available to watch later.

COVID-19 update: No change to guidance for Sellafield Ltd employees

As you will have seen, the Prime Minister has announced a series of new lockdown measures which are designed to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in response to a nationwide rise in infection.

There are no planned changes to our operations as a result of the announcement.

Our existing workplace rules should continue to be followed and those who need to attend the workplace to work effectively should still attend.

Employees who are able work from home effectively can continue to do so.

In his announcement the Prime Minister reiterated the guidance around ‘hands, face and space’:

  • wash/sanitise your hands regularly
  • wear a mask over your face
  • follow social distancing guidelines and give people space

We constantly review the details of government guidance to ensure that our operations comply with all requirements, and will update our enterprise risk assessment if necessary.

As ever, we will keep you informed of our thinking around what will always be a dynamic, moving situation.

In his statement, the Prime Minister suggested that this latest guidance may be in force for up to 6 months.

Thanks to your care, professionalism and diligence we have demonstrated that it is possible to adapt to COVID-19 measures in the workplace whilst progressing our mission of acute national importance.

As we move forward and continue to deliver, it is vitally important that we continue to follow the workplace rules and our enterprise risk assessment so that we can stay safe at work, reduce the spread of COVID-19 and continue to progress.

Rebecca Weston, Chief Operating Officer has written more about our response to the virus and Steve Bostock, Site Director, has written about our approach to safe working. Both of these posts can be found on the front page of the intranet.

In my CEO video last week I stressed the importance of following our workplace procedures and helping each other to do so.

These are challenging times for all of us, and will remain so for some time to come. In the meantime, keep following our workplace rules, continue to exercise good judgement and keep looking out for each other.

Thank you.

Martin Chown CEO

Do the Rights thing

We’re a pioneering company with innovation happening all around us – and some of the processes and techniques we develop might one day end up the subject of intellectual property rights.

Intellectual property includes copyright, trademarks, design rights and patents – but it also works both ways.

If we infringe someone else’s intellectual property rights, they can pursue legal action against us.

That’s why we have a code of practice available to help identify and manage intellectual property. It includes everything from what you do if you wish to protect a novel technique you’ve created, to the playing of other people’s music on our premises and what to do if you wish to copy or reference documents and articles.

The company’s intellectual property manager Sean Alker has been looking at intellectual property as part of his wider work providing advice on a range of topics including contracting terms and conditions and acceptable compromises.

Sean said:

We have just reissued the Intellectual Property SLP4.09.600 (SLMS portal on the intranet) for all personnel and I hope that this simplified document and our dedicated intranet pages (Intellectual Property Department) will provide everything needed to give people the confidence they are doing the right thing.

Commercial and technical departments are traditionally at the forefront of ensuring we protect these interests, but anyone could encounter a novel technique or copyright issue in their business as usual activities.

I would urge everyone to read the SLP or the Intellectual Property Department intranet page or get in touch with me direct.

Home working options and delivery of office chairs

We have re-introduced the office chair delivery service for our employees who are working from home, this is available until the end of September 2020.

If you would like an office chair delivered to your home address, then please follow this process:

  1. Discuss with your line manager and send your email request to the Accommodation_Team_OneFM@sellafieldsites.com with name, peoplesoft, home address and contact number.
  2. The OneFM Accommodation Team will contact you to confirm a date and approximate time for delivery.
  3. All requests must be submitted by close of play Fridays for deliveries the following week.

You must not remove chairs from our offices, we have the correct amount of chairs in each building to accommodate the desk space.

If you are struggling to work comfortably from home, space can be made available to allow your return to the workplace.

To arrange this you will need to speak with your line manager in the first instance. Most directorates now have an offsite location.

Once you have discussed with your line manager, you can make contact with the relevant person for your area who will be able to make arrangements for you to spend time in the office.

We also have limited desk space available in Albion 2, this is allocated on a first come first served basis.

We are working on a booking system for desk space which will allow employees to reserve a desk. We will communicate more information on this when we have it.

Could you be a change maker?

Are you an enthusiastic and driven person?

Are you passionate about driving positive behaviours at Sellafield?

Do you believe in our manifesto?

Are you proud to role model the behaviours?

Will you encourage your peers and colleagues to get involved?

If so, we would love to hear from you.

We are looking to recruit one team of “change makers” across all levels and areas of our organisation.

As a change maker you will work with the CEO Office to help embed our manifesto across our whole company so that everyone is clear on what they need to do.

Some of our change makers will be selected as behavioural theme leads. This will give you the opportunity to work alongside the CEO Office and members of the executive to help come up with new ideas to embed the theme you lead and to feedback to us where things aren’t working and what changes we could make.

You can really make a difference.

We need change makers from across our site, our community, in all areas and from all our geographical locations. Whether you are an apprentice, an operator, an engineer, a buyer or an operations manager we need you to help make this change.

This isn’t a role that needs certain skills and experience; what it needs is a mindset.

The role is a valuable, voluntary role alongside your current work commitments and should only take up about half a day a month of dedicated time.

The majority of what you will do will just be part of your everyday work. There is no training required, it’s about you being you and bringing your voice and ideas to the table.

If you are interested in being one of our change makers please email emma-jayne.gooch@sellafieldsites.com, Chief of Staff to the CEO the following:

Name:

Job title:

Area you work:

Grade:

What you like about the manifesto:

What you think you will bring to the role of Change Maker:

We are aiming to attract a wide demographic across our business. If we are fortunate enough to get too many people in a certain area you may not get the opportunity to be a Change Maker this time, but we will keep you on the list for the future.

Reminder: Changes to social gathering guidance

A message from Mark Neate, Executive Director for Environment, Safety and Security:

This Monday (14 September), the government’s new ‘rule of six’ legislation prohibiting social gatherings of more than 6 people both indoors and outdoors comes into effect.

There are no changes for workplaces and schools in terms of how we need to work within our risk assessments.

So, for us at Sellafield Ltd the introduction of these new COVID-19 controls does not affect our day-to-day business, although of course we expect all of our employees to follow all official advice inside and outside of work.

The work we have already done to ensure that colleagues can work safely in our workplaces means that our response to any future re-escalation of the virus will be different from our response to the pandemic in March this year.

Thanks to the learning we have gained about working safely around a threat we now understand far better, we are determined to continue to progress our nationally important mission and minimise any operational impact from any subsequent escalations of COVID-19.

We have plans in place to help us to keep working through a re-escalation of the virus and our aim is to maintain key operations and hazard and risk reduction work.

Thanks to the work we have done in formulating and implementing our Enterprise Risk Assessment, we are confident that all of our workplaces have been made safe.

Colleagues adhering to the rules in our risk assessment benefit from greater protection in the workplace than currently exists outside of work.

These protections rely on us following the rules to look after ourselves and others by remaining careful, cautious and vigilant – both at work and outside it. This is how we will maintain our resilience.

Remember, we are One Team and valuing and respecting each other means behaving responsibly at all times to minimise the threat of the virus.

Thank you for your continued professionalism and support.

Stay safe and look out for each other.

Help us make waste a priority

Waste management is a hugely important part of our mission. This will only increase in importance as our mission changes and we focus on managing the legacy of the Sellafield site and the waste our operations have created.

To help ensure we’re managing the waste we create as safely and effectively as possible, we are now recruiting a series of new waste management roles.

It’s an exciting time to join the expanding team, as these roles will help shape and deliver the fundamental change in how we manage waste, now and in the future.

Our ability to minimise waste volumes and the need for ongoing processing will have a huge impact on the lifetime cost and environmental footprint of our enterprise.

A key change in this area is the increasing prominence of waste treatment, management and storage as a core part of our purpose.

Edwin Matthews, enterprise leader for Remediation, said:

In the future, waste will be our major product. We need to continue to deliver waste packages to the same high standards and quality tolerances which we have demonstrated on reprocessing operations.

To do this, we have to make sure we have the right team in place. These roles provide the opportunity to do this. I would encourage people to look at the various roles being created – there are lots of opportunities for passionate and enthusiastic individuals.

The roles will range from technical support to waste specialists in bands 4 and 3. These will be followed by a series of operations roles.

You can find these, and all other internal vacancies on our new internal vacancies site.

BT Meet Me guidance

As government guidelines continue to promote working from home and our working practices evolve and mature to support this, ISO continues to review the profile of technology being used throughout the organisation.

One of the areas where we have seen a huge increase is in the use of BT Meet Me conference calls.

Conference calls are great for facilitating collaborative working, the downside is the loss of non-verbal communication which can be as equally important as verbal.

Microsoft Teams is Sellafield’s preferred solution to addressing this gap in the current climate and we would encourage all staff to switch conference calls to MS Teams where possible.

Where Teams is not possible and BT Meet Me has to be used for conference calls, below are some hints and tips on using BT Meet Me:

  1. There are 2 ways to dial a BT Meet Me number, using an 0800 number or an 0203 number. 0203 numbers cost 0.0085p per minute, and are charged to the caller, 0800 numbers are free to the caller but are charged back to Sellafield Ltd and cost 10 times the cost of the 0203 number. So, if using a Sellafield device it’s much cheaper to use the 0203 number when making your call.
  2. When sending invites to people outside of Sellafield then only send the 0203 number.
  3. For guidance on understanding the chair person and participant controls please refer to the link in the news item on the intranet.
  4. Consider having 2 people dialled into the chair person number, that way if the primary chair person drops out for any reason the call can continue allowing them to re-join rather than loosing everyone on the call.
  5. When publishing your BT Meet me dial in details only provide the participant pin, not the chair pin. Publishing both is a security risk and provides others the opportunity to use your number in the future.
  6. When in a call, if you place yourself on hold for any reason, this generates a series of beeps which can be disruptive to those continuing the conference call. Consider exiting the call and re-joining instead.
  7. If there is only 2 people in the conference call, consider dialling one another directly. The quality of the call will be better as it’s a direct connection, the cost of the call will also be less as there is only one set of charges

Our Manifesto is now available

Today, Martin Chown launched Our Manifesto, the simple one-page document that shows the company we want to be.

If you missed the briefing session, take a look at the recording below.

Our Manifesto

Our manifesto was developed with the help of more than 400 employees and describes a Sellafield of which we can all be proud.

It shows why we’re here, and the importance of what we do; to create a clean and safe environment for future generations.

It also describes 9 behaviours you’ve told us we should all expect to see from everyone working on our mission.

Behaviours that will help us succeed but that you’ve told us you don’t always see now.

Finally, it reminds us that we are all nuclear professionals, regardless of our role or location.

From today you’ll start to see it around our business as a reminder that these are the behaviours expected from everyone working on the Sellafield mission.

Click on the link below for more information and take any of the behaviours on our manifesto and start to role model them today, and watch the video below from our executive team.

Martin’s blog, including what our manifesto looks like

We are one team

If you have any questions about our manifesto, please send them to manifesto@sellafieldsites.com

Messages from our Chief Executive, Martin Chown

Update from our CEO, Martin Chown - Friday 18 September 2020

Video update - Friday 18 September 2020

Chief Executive weekly video - Our manifesto

Our Chief Executive’s update this week is the video we used to launch Our manifesto.

Our manifesto

The manifesto was developed with the help of more than 400 employees and describes a Sellafield of which we can all be proud.

It shows why we’re here, and the importance of what we do; to create a clean and safe environment for future generations.

Our manifesto sets out the organisation that we want to be. The behaviours we want to see. And the clear purpose that we are all working towards.

We are creating a clean and safe environment for future generations.

It also reminds us that we are all nuclear professionals.

Regardless of our role or location, we are all here to create a clean and safe environment for future generations.

Each part of our manifesto is owned by a member of the executive team, but it belongs to us all.

This is our manifesto.

Martin

Update from our Chief Executive, Martin Chown - Friday 4 September 2020

Update from our Chief Executive, Martin Chown

Chief Executive video update - Friday 28 August 2020

An update for employees from our Chief Executive, Martin Chown

Update from our Chief Executive, Martin Chown - Friday 7 August 2020

Update from our Chief Executive, Martin Chown

Video update from our Chief Executive, Martin Chown - Friday 31 July 2020

Martin Chown video update

Video update from our Chief Executive, Martin Chown - Friday 24 July 2020

Update from chief executive, Martin Chown

Video update from our Chief Executive, Martin Chown - Friday 17 July 2020

Update from chief executive, Martin Chown

Update from our Chief Executive, Martin Chown - Friday 10 July 2020

I hope you found my short video message helpful last week. I would prefer to talk to you all in person, but that is simply not possible at this time. The video messages do allow us to talk to most of our people in a fast-accessible way.

It is important to me that my communication with you covers what you want to hear from your CEO, so any feedback on this or on what communications channels work best for you would be most helpful.

Please contact my Chief of Staff, Emma-Jayne Gooch on Emma-Jayne.gooch@sellafieldsites.com with any feedback and ideas on this weekly update.

In line with the easing of lockdown restrictions, we’ve been increasingly opening work streams across our business both on and off site and this is set to continue.

As I’ve always made clear, we will keep you informed of our thinking as it develops.

Next week, we will publish the principles that will inform how we open every significant work face by the end of September and how every employee will be engaged in that work by the end of August.

As we move forward, these new arrangements will begin to look and feel like a ‘new normal’ for everyone in our business and across our supply chain. These arrangements will apply to everyone and are an essential part of how we maximise the delivery of our mission in these extraordinary times: with or without the pandemic, our mission remains one of the most acutely important in the UK.

This week I did get the chance to meet with some of our people in Albion, Railway office, Magnox Swarf Storage Silo (MSSS) and the Redundant Settling Tank (RST). I saw brilliant enthusiasm and commitment demonstrated by all.

A few highlights - the Railway team manage all of our moves on the main site and have been working successfully throughout COVID-19 as part of the UK fuel route.

MSSS has been reconfigured and is still preparing for bulk retrievals, the silo emptying plant machines are back into build and commissioning.

The RST team responded to a leak which we found in October 2019, in just 8 months (inclusive of COVID-19) we have removed all of the material and sludge from the tank and when I visited on Tuesday the last of the material was being removed by the team.

This is exactly the kind of pace and high performance, in collaboration with our supply chain, that we need in order to be our best for the future.

My thanks to everyone who is working hard to maintain our progress and return to productivity.

As we begin to establish a new normal, I wanted to thank all of those colleagues who have worked as volunteers in our communities over recent months and who have now stepped away from this. As we moved into lockdown, we asked for those who were able to contribute to the recovery effort.

Hundreds of Sellafield Ltd employees rose to meet this request. From manning call centres, to delivering medicine and packing food, to volunteering in the NHS and providing project management expertise; your response was fantastic.

Our efforts have been noticed far and wide, with the £200,000 we made available to the NHS for PPE even making the pages of the New York Times. As volunteers, not only did you make a real difference, but you demonstrated the values that are central to the success of our business and we should all take pride in this; I certainly do.

Finally, Steve Bostock has recorded a short video called its good to talk, It’s a great video with a really strong message for us all. I encourage you to watch it and think about how we help each other through regular open conversation.

Stay safe, be kind and look after each other

Martin

Update from our Chief Executive, Martin Chown - Friday 3 July 2020

Chief Executive Update Friday 3 July

Update from our Chief Executive, Martin Chown - Monday 29 June.

Gaenor Prest, HR Director

Today we welcome Gaenor Prest to Sellafield Ltd as human resources (HR) director and part of my executive team.

Gaenor brings experience from her previous leadership roles across a range of industries including project management, engineering, nuclear and infrastructure.

She has broad experience of business, specialised in leading HR and delivering transformation programmes for the last sixteen years.

I’m very pleased that we have attracted someone of Gaenor’s calibre to the role at Sellafield, which is instrumental in helping us to shape our high-performance culture, in close collaboration with the NDA.

My thanks again to Steve Bostock for his management of the HR directorate in the last few months.

As always, stay safe, be kind and look after each other.

Martin

Update from our Chief Executive, Martin Chown - Friday 26 June

A short update from me this week as we continue to restart all operations across the site and in our offices.

Hopefully you will have seen that we are back on site with all our major construction projects and are ramping up activity. Our nuclear operations are successfully ramping up their vital work and we have commenced restart for almost 50 work fronts in this phase – well done to all involved.

You will have heard about the social distancing change from 2 metres to 1 metre plus. It’s important to recognise that our existing workplace distancing arrangements remain in place on our site and in our offices as set out in our Enterprise Risk Assessment.

We will review these arrangements in light of the latest government announcement, and we will communicate any changes if applicable.

We have published guidance on returning to work and I encourage anyone with concerns or anxieties about returning, for whatever reason, to discuss these with their line manager.

You should continue to work from home unless unable to do so, but I want everyone to be confident and feel secure in returning to work and every effort will be made through line managers to address any concerns that you may have.

On site this week, I visited colleagues undertaking the vital work that enables us to progress our mission in our utilities and infrastructure teams including the Inactive Tank Farm.

I started my career looking after similar facilities, so I really enjoyed meeting our people and understanding the work they do. The power, steam and water form the backbone of our site infrastructure and the network is quite complex, the reliability and resilience has improved significantly over recent years with lots of work still do to upgrade our ageing equipment.

Thanks to the teams who took time out of their day to speak to me – great people doing vital work that supports the entire site.

On Thursday I worked in the Albion office and I was encouraged to see more people working safely and staff undertaking the building induction so that they can work in the office when it is required to do so.

As we approach the 100th day of lockdown, we should reflect on the last 4 months. From ramp down, to stabilisation, to ramp up, all whilst playing a vital role in helping our communities to respond to the pandemic; we should be proud of our response to an unprecedented challenge.

Many more challenges lay ahead of us, but we have demonstrated that we are more than capable of meeting those.

Stay safe, be kind and look after each other. I hope to see you all soon.

Martin

Chief Executive update - Friday 19 June

Lockdown is beginning to lift, and many parts of life and the economy are beginning to return to something more like the normal we were used to before lockdown. Non-essential shops have begun to reopen, and more and more people are returning to their place of work.

For many of us work is an activity, not simply a location, but for thousands of people in our business and across our supply chain, work is both an activity and a location; this is why we have progressively restarted work in many of our offices and why we are opening more and more physical areas of work on our site.

We now have around 2,000 people safely working on the Sellafield site on a typical working day. By September we expect to have around 4,000 people on site. This is still roughly only half the 8,000+ people who were working on site before COVID-19, but we have adapted the way we work, moved some people off site and paused some work lower down the priority of hazard and risk reduction so that we can make room for our highest priority work.

The people working on site over the next six months will be split roughly half and half between Sellafield Ltd employees and our supply chain.

I personally took some time out on Wednesday to speak to our supply chain with a video meeting for the first time since my appointment. I shared with them the same priorities and focus I have shared with the business and our stakeholders.

We take our responsibilities to our partners seriously: our workforce, our local communities and our business partners. Amongst the many lessons that we have been reminded of throughout the duration of the pandemic to date, the fact that our success is mutual is perhaps the most important one. When Sellafield succeeds, our partners succeed.

We will soon be restarting more work across the four value streams and will bring forward plans for the restart of Magnox reprocessing.

This will not be a simple return to ‘business as usual’ – familiar places of work will look and feel different – so it’s more important than ever before to place safe working at the heart of everything we do, particularly when returning to work after time away. This means extra effort and care from line managers taking the time and making the space to have a conversation with people returning to work about how they feel and any concerns they might have. For all of us as individuals, it also means looking out for each other.

Our work continues to be noticed; pandemic or not, what we do matters. This week, Rebecca Weston, David Peattie and I welcomed BEIS Minister Nadim Zahawi MP as part of a ‘virtual visit’ of Sellafield - an innovative way in which to ensure that the Minister responsible for our area of work can remain connected to the details of our mission and the challenges ahead. With a physical visit not being possible, a ‘virtual visit’ allowed for presentations about the site to be made and for conversations to be had. Simple but effective, and an illustration of one of the many ways in which we are likely to change over coming months and years.

Thank you for everything you have done to help us reach this point and for making the acceleration of our work possible.

Stay safe, be kind and look after each other.

Martin

Video message update from our Chief Executive, Martin Chown - Friday 12 June

Video message update from our Chief Executive, Martin Chown

Update from our Chief Executive, Martin Chown - Friday 5 June

January was when we first started assessing the potential impact of Covid-19 on our business, the middle of March we began our controlled ramp down and now as we enter June, the beginning of summer, we are into our progressive restart work which has been underway for some weeks.

As I’ve previously communicated, our approach will remain dynamic as the ramp up of work progresses. We have now commenced work on four of our major construction projects and another five are starting now.

We identified 51 work areas as part of this phase of restart I am pleased that today we have over 20 of these operational with 7 more next week – on target to complete this restart phase by the end of June. My thanks to everyone involved.

We are underway with planning and some limited activity to prepare for more complex operations such as Magnox and Vitrification, more on that in coming weeks. In our offices those staff who need the access for design work are working well, and hundreds of staff are working effectively from home.

Our supply chain work right alongside us in all our operations; and right from the start we took steps to protect jobs and communities. We will continue to do the right thing so that we can all deliver our essential work into the future. We are all in this together.

People are at the heart of everything that we do; that’s why we have invested so much time and effort in providing the most timely and relevant advice for colleagues throughout this pandemic.

Stay safe, be kind and look after each other.

Martin

Friday 29 May 2020

We have been progressively restarting work necessary for tackling the highest hazards on the site; and this week we have published our thinking on how we make the decision to restart work and how we decide which areas of work to restart before others.

Our approach remains dynamic and we have carefully approached our work in such a way that we can quickly stop working if required to do so. This ‘dial-up’ with the ability to ‘dial-down’ approach is necessary because of the changing nature of the wider environment we are all working in. You can find our rationale for progressively restarting work here.

I always enjoy going onto site to see the activities taking place and am impressed by the commitment, passion and professionalism of everyone I speak to. It is clear to me that we are all leading by example in the way that we approach and undertake the important work that we do.

Thank you for your patience and commitment in your work, and for helping us to progressively restart a growing number of workstreams. The feedback received both personally and to your line managers with regard to the work we are doing to bring the workstreams back on line has been very positive and gratefully received.

I know most people will have some additional personal issues and commitments at this time – whether with regard to children and family members, or individual health concerns. This is challenging many of us to think differently about how and when we work, I have personally taken a couple of days off as leave this week and I have enjoyed the time to rest and refocus.

We understand these challenges and we will continue to share our thinking with you about why, how and when different operations will return.

We are all accountable for what we do, and we should all lead by example. Visible leadership is one of my priorities and we are currently working in collaboration with the NDA estate creating a new leadership standard for Sellafield. It’s important to have one clear, defined standard for us all –and it will be a basis for how we recruit, develop and measure leadership in the future. We’ll be asking for contributions from across the organisation – at all levels, because I’m keen for it to be a collaborative approach and to hear your views. I’ve recorded a short video on this if you want to know more.

Right now, none of us can know when the lockdown will end and it is imperative that we remain patient, understanding and focussed on the situation that we find ourselves in. Against this backdrop, it remains essential for us to make progress in tackling some of the most demanding Nuclear and environmental challenges in the world – this pandemic has not changed that reality.

Stay safe, be kind and look after each other.

Martin

Friday 22 May 2020

Update from our CEO Martin Chown

Friday 15 May 2020

Making progress as we return to our workplace

In recent weeks we’ve made cautious steps to re-start some of our operations so that we can continue to make progress on high hazard risk reduction. Some of our work simply can’t stop, as we are a critical part of the UK infrastructure.

I want to say thank you to those of you who have been at the workplace since the beginning of our controlled shutdown back in March, and to those of you who are returning to the workplace as we open more operations, projects and offices for those who cannot work effectively from home.

It’s very important to me that you and our supply chain colleagues know that you are at the heart of all of our decision making, whether that’s about the kind of work we can bring on line and how, with how many people or about the social distancing measures we have in place in different facilities. We have a robust enterprise risk assessment that identifies the arrangements we need to put in place to minimise risk.

Many of you continue to work from home, this will become the new normal for possibly many months to come. The IT arrangements are gearing up to enable more and more people to have access to the Sellafield system and our collaboration tools are also becoming more accessible and reliable. I am proud of the ability of colleagues to adapt, learn and find new ways of contributing to our progress in new circumstances.

Next week we intend to bring you more information about how we re-start gradually, within the constraints of making progress and balancing the number of people on site or in offices at any one time. We will also share our thinking on a testing capability for our people. Discussions with our union colleagues on these matters will be an important part of our plans.

I was delighted to see that kindness is the theme of World Mental Health Awareness Week. Being kind at work is very important to me and it is something we should be doing not just this week, nor just in lockdown but in everything we do every day.

As always, I ask you all to stay safe, be kind and look after each other.

Martin

Thursday 07 May 2020

Our value to the UK and the hard work ahead

On Monday, we began the progressive restart of operations across some work streams in Albion Square, Allday, Hinton House and on the BEPPS-DIF project. All of these are critical areas of work that cannot be undertaken from home.

Our progressive restart was always going to be more difficult than our ramp down in mid- March and I would like to thank all of you who have been involved.

I would also like to thank those who have remained working on the site since the lockdown, people supporting from home and to those few hundred in Sellafield Ltd and the supply chain who returned to their work place this week; I want you to know that your work isn’t just essential for our business, but for our country. I met with some staff in Albion on Monday and then on site on Tuesday and Wednesday, I have also been getting positive feedback every day on how the restart is progressing.

As a subsidiary of the NDA, Sellafield Ltd is publicly owned, which means instead of stocks and shares and performance measured by a “share price” it is measured in the value that we give to our country. Sellafield Ltd is tasked with cleaning up some of the most difficult environmental and engineering challenges on the planet and that’s because we are the best people in the best place to do it.

At every point in this pandemic, our aim has always been to maintain a business capable of delivering our mission, balancing the impact of Covid-19; nuclear safety and security and business sustainability, value for money, keeping in mind our impact on our local communities, our supply chain, stakeholders and the health and wellbeing of our workforce.

I want to be clear that there is a great deal of hard work ahead of us.

Restarting some areas of work will be easier than others, and we will only restart work streams when it is safe to do so. It will take some time until we are able to return to normal operations, but it’s increasingly clear that this will be a new normal and not a short-term return to business as usual as we understood it before lockdown. As ever, we will share our thinking on what the new normal is as it develops.

Finally, for those colleagues not working this weekend, I hope that you’re able to enjoy the extra day off tomorrow and the rest of the weekend.

Be safe, be kind, and look after each other.

Martin

Friday 01 May 2020

Update for employees from our Chief Executive, Martin Chown

Friday 24 April 2020

Earlier today I was informed about an accident that occurred on site this morning.

It is really sad that one of our colleagues has been injured, and my thoughts are with him and his family. An investigation into the accident is already underway and further information is available below.

Nuclear and conventional safety are always our number one priority and I want to share with you some thoughts with that in mind as we plan for a progressive return to operations.

Our return to normal operations: how, when and why.

Thanks to your professionalism and commitment, in March we were able to quickly ramp down site operations in response to the spread of COVID-19. Since this time, approximately 1,500 colleagues have remained safely working on the site, with thousands more supporting our operations from home.

In common with other major national infrastructure projects, as soon as we completed the ramp down work, we began the work of planning for a return to normal operations recognising that the post-Covid-19 ‘normal’ will be different to that which we have become used to.

We will share the details of this over the coming weeks, but first I want to share with you the thinking behind our planning.

Our aim has always been to maintain a business capable of delivering our mission, balancing the impact of COVID-19; nuclear safety and security and business sustainability, keeping in mind our impact on our local communities, our supply chain, stakeholders and the health and wellbeing of our workforce. As we move forward, this aim will remain our primary focus.

Secondly, we have now completed the work that assures our current position as both resilient and sustainable, with another piece of work that sets out the criteria for how we will begin various activities in what we call ‘Phase 3’ all as part of how, over time, we return to ‘normal’ operations.

Third, the rationale for returning to ‘normal’ operations as soon as possible is compelling. Our mission is to make Sellafield safer, sooner and our return to normal operations as soon as possible is the best way of achieving this. As well as keeping the Site, our people and community safe and secure today, there are numerous areas of work that require timely attendance at the workplace: from aspects of compliance, to infrastructure maintenance to projects that provide strategically important capabilities required for environmental remediation.

Finally, we will not begin to ramp up operations until we have assessed the arrangements in place for safe working. Whilst we now know how we will govern our approach to progressing our mission, this does not mean that a significant shift in our current COVID-19 working practice will be either quick or imminent. Our return will be guided by all the relevant government advice and national and local COVID-19 management plans.

Please keep in mind that where nuclear safety, security and protection of the environment require us to do so, we must undertake all necessary work.

Returning to ‘normal’ operations will be challenging, and we propose to do this in an incremental, progressive way across different areas of the business at different times. It may well be the case that certain workstreams are ‘dialed-up’ and ‘dialed-down’ as circumstances dictate, so as incremental as our return will be, it will always be subject to developments outside of our business and outside of our control.

I have been liaising with all the CEOS of the nuclear facilities across the UK in addition to all the main infrastructure sites. We have some detailed information about their return to work and many of them are already operational. Whilst we will always set our own path, this is useful as a reference point and for shared learning.

We will share more details of the how, why and when we will progressively return to ‘normal’ operations in the coming weeks, and we will be sharing these details with trade union representatives and local and national stakeholders as soon as possible.

These remain exceptionally challenging times for all of us. And I know that you will have many questions. I have started a new discussion forum thread/mailbox to assist with these - and we will continue to keep you informed of our thinking as it develops.

Please continue to be safe, be kind and look after each other.

Martin

Monday 17 April 2020

In today’s update I want to share with you the key messages that I’ve written in my CEO column that normally features in Our Sellafield.

We are living through very different times. It feels a lot longer than three weeks since we took the decision to take plants to a safe shut down, just ahead of the Government’s announcement that the whole country would, effectively move to a lockdown. Yesterday evening we heard that the lockdown would continue for at least three more weeks, and I would like to thank you for continuing to deliver your best work with pace and professionalism.

It’s important for me to repeat, that every day I feel proud of our people from the key workers keeping our site safe and secure to those enabling the business to continue high priority tasks, our trade union representatives helping us to find solutions on site, to volunteers in our communities working to make sure that food and medicine is delivered to the most vulnerable.

Visible leadership, respect and kindness are the values we need to beat this crisis. In normal times I would expect visible leadership by being present at the place of work, right now that equally applies to how we contact all of our employees on a regular basis and maintain the engagement for everyone. I have seen these values in many of you and you should be incredibly proud of that.

Our April team4action launch is due this week, encouraging teams to get together to discuss what’s happening in our business. Whilst coming together as a team to discuss will offer challenges it is really important for us all to keep connected via conference call or video call and to check in with our teams and colleagues to make sure we know how people are doing. Kindness has never been as needed as it is in these challenging times.

Instead of team4action and Our Sellafield, this month we have produced a hybrid document, bringing you some information for you to read and share. You can learn how some of our colleagues are dealing with different ways of working – on site or at home and there’s a reminder where to go for wellbeing advice and support.

Testing for Covid-19 FAQs (PDF, 144KB, 4 pages)

Mark Neate, Director of Environment, Safety and Security, explains how we as an organisation are responding to the pandemic, with a crisis management team set up to provide direction and analysis on a daily basis. There’s also a description of the different phases to ramp up work that will lead to a return to normal operations - when the time is right for us to do so.

We will continue to keep you updated with our thinking and our plans.

Thank you all again for your continued vigilance, professionalism and care.

Stay safe and be kind.

Thursday 9 April 2020

It’s the end of another difficult week that none of us could ever have imagined, and so l want to update you on where we are and where we are going.

We continue to operate the site with a significantly reduced workforce and our office-based workforce are largely working from home.

All our construction sites are paused at a time when we are in a significant site ramp up with Programme and Project Partners as well as having teams working hard to complete our current projects such as Main Site Command Facility, Box Encapsulation Plant and Box Encapsulation Plant Product Store Direct Import Facility.

You will know that we are very likely to be in this situation for weeks to come and new challenges will continue to present themselves to the business, to the site and to us as individuals. That said; I am confident that we are in control and have excellent resilience in place as we always must.

In a situation as dynamic as the one we find ourselves in, we must consider every possibility as we plan for recovery when the time is right. We’ve been assessing and analysing everything we can since the very beginning of this crisis; how to maintain the safety and security of our site and our employees, how to best protect our supply chain, how to help our communities and how and when can we begin the process of increasing operations. These are some of our daily considerations.

There will be more on recovery planning in the next couple of weeks and you may be involved as part of the work to ensure we can restart all operations over time. As I said in the video message last week, the work we do now will minimise the losses to our schedule and mission.

We are still achieving significant results this week we have received 2 licence instruments from ONR which required a huge amount of work, we have repaired our electrical infrastructure to improve our site resilience to almost full capacity, we have completed our financial close out for the year and have signed off all of 20/21 targets.

Thank you for your continued vigilance, professionalism and care.

Martin

Friday 3 April 2020

Video from Martin Chown

The show must go on for the Sellafield choir

Coronavirus has changed the touring plans for virtually every musician, group and theatrical production. The Sellafield choir was no different.

The choir was formed earlier this year, and quickly grew to a membership of 50 keen singers. Sessions were going well with the group already singing in harmony, and a new community spirit developing.

Coronavirus meant the in-person sessions had to stop but recognising the benefits to the mental health of those involved, members agreed the show must go on. As a result, virtual sessions replaced meet ups.

Neil Milligan, who launched the choir said:

Meeting virtually is not quite the same as singing together in person, but it’s been a decent substitute until we can get back to some form of normality.

We plan to continue to meet virtually and will continue to work with the Hallé using a specially commissioned piece of music. The project will eventually culminate in a virtual massed choir performance joining forces with other workplace choirs who are working with Hallé and streamed on social media.

The choir are still keen to recruit more members. Anyone interested doesn’t have to be a good singer, nor be able to read music. Enthusiasm is the only expectation.

The choir is open to anyone working at any Sellafield Ltd site or office.

Euan Hutton is the executive sponsor for the partnership. He said:

It’s impressive that even in these difficult times, we can focus on our people and their wellbeing in this way.

The benefits of the choir are clear. It really has given those involved a great feeling. In fact, we’re all looking forward to finding out how good we sound. I would encourage anyone to join in. You can get a real buzz from taking part.

Member feedback has reiterated the mental health and wellbeing benefits of getting involved:

In the early days of the lock-down it was very uplifting to get involved with a project with work colleagues and certainly kept my spirits up!

Joining together to sing virtually was a good experience. It helped me to feel connected to people at work, and it also provided plenty of humour and team spirit.

It was really good to have that hour a week to just escape and to step away from screen. I love singing and am so happy that I’ve come back to it after years of wanting to. It’s definitely brightened up the lockdown life.

I enjoyed meeting up with people in person when the choir was forming, but I actually thought the virtual choir was much more liberating than being in a room with everyone else because I could sing my heart out and no-one could tell I was out of tune as we were all on mute!

It certainly had an effect on my mental health, even the warm-up exercises at the start helped release the stress in my neck and shoulders – stress I was not even aware I was carrying until I let it go.

Watch the video of the choir’s first virtual performance with the Hallé.

You raise me up - virtual choir

If you’d like to get involved or would like to know more, please contact Neil Milligan on neil.milligan@sellafieldsites.com.

New career opportunities in commissioning and pre-operations

As the delivery of our major projects and new facilities move ever forward, we need enthusiastic people to fill new roles in pre-operations and commissioning.

A campaign has just launched to fill almost 70 roles across the pre-operations and commissioning capability. The roles range from bands 5 to 3.

Opportunities are not just in our new facilities, but also to support our value streams.

The roles are likely to be of particular interest to those who have experience in operations, engineering or maintenance – anyone who has worked on a plant and understands what it takes to make it run smoothly, can help ensure the same is true of our new facilities.

Ian McGarry is leading the recruitment campaign. He said:

Throughout September we will be recruiting for these roles. There are lots of opportunities for those who would like to further their career or explore an opportunity in a new area.

I would encourage anyone who is interested take a look and apply.

The vacancies include commissioning and start up managers, commissioning managers, pre-operations managers, section leads and delivery roles.

There is a mix of managerial and supervisory roles, as well as engineering, craft and support roles.

The commissioning and pre-operations profession provide the required people, plant and procedural arrangements for new facilities and modifications to existing facilities across the Sellafield site.

Teams are made up of individuals with a range of experience in operations, engineering, maintenance and technical areas.

You can find these, and all other internal vacancies on the new internal vacancies site.

SOVA reintroduction – 21 September 2020

As more people have now returned to work on site we are seeing an increased strain on our car parks.

To address this we are reintroducing the need for SOVAs to access the site.

Shift worker SOVA

If you already have a shift worker SOVA you will need to renew this at the main canteen (B409), on the dates and times shown below. You will be issued a new shift SOVA which will be easily identifiable to the civilian guard force.

If you work the double-day shift pattern you are also eligible for a SOVA and can collect from the main canteen.

Shift worker SOVA renewals

You can renew or collect your shift SOVA in the Main Canteen (B409) between 09.15am and 11.15am, Monday to Friday from Tuesday 8 September to 21 September 2020.

Tactical plan SOVA

The business has agreed and regularly reviews its 6-month tactical plan – which sets out our operational work plan and the resources needed to carry it out. That involves identifying people numbers needed on site for each area of the business and the allocation of tactical SOVAs.

More details on the allocation and issue of tactical SOVAs between now and 21 September will be provided to teams in individual areas of the business over the next fortnight.

Existing SOVA

If you have an existing SOVA you can continue to use it.

Car School Vehicle Access tokens CSVAs are not allowed during this time. The Enterprise Risk Assessment presents a hierarchy for individuals to consider when selecting their method of travel to work, more information including the order of preference is available here

Yottenfews car park

Yottenfews car park is open, there are currently no restrictions on parking there. The shuttle buses are operating to the Main Gate and on the site to get to your place of work. We are increasing the amount of buses to meet the demand.

Please remember to wear a face covering whilst you are on the bus. We recently published a tool box talk and guidance for face coverings, you can read it here. The Enterprise Risk Assessment is being updated to reflect the changes.

The commuter bus is operational and details can be found here or alternatively information on train services are here.

We will continue to monitor the car parking situation closely and amend arrangements as needed.

COVID-19 pay policy version 7

As you will be aware we implemented pay policy measures at the beginning of lockdown which we continue to monitor on a regular basis, or as circumstances change.

Our most recent version, was version 6. This went live on 1 July 2020 after consultation in May 2020 and a notice period for adjustment in June 2020.

Version 6 has served us well over the summer months, and we are now at a stage where sufficient change has developed at the national level that we are ready to move to a version 7.

You can view it on the ‘Coronavirus guidance for employee’ area of our website.

The key national changes in this context are the introduction of support bubbles, the revised guidance for clinically and extremely clinically vulnerable, and the reopening of schools.

Version 7 therefore brings with it the withdrawal of various temporary elements of the policy on the basis that they are no longer required.

Principally, the headline changes are:

  • Categories 4 and 7 are withdrawn. These categories related to those employees unavailable for work in any capacity. We revert to T&C’s with the option for unpaid leave, career breaks, or part time contracts (by agreement) replacing these categories.

  • For employees required to attend the workplace but who for personal reasons do not (but are available to work remotely) – the ineligibility for level allowances extends to shift allowance also.

  • The arrangements for quarantine after foreign travel adopted on the announcement of Spain’s inclusion in August 2020 become part of the pay policy.

  • Like in version 6, we intend to do everything we can to allow employees to make adjustments relevant to the change and to that end, we have consulted in August 2020, and we issue today in advance of a ‘go live’ date of 1st October 2020.

  • Support and welfare arrangements remain paramount, and continue to be available. We urge any employees with concerns to discuss them with their line management at the earliest opportunity so that we can resolve any outstanding issues.

A set of frequently asked questions is available over on the ‘Coronavirus guidance for employee’ area of our website.

Dosemeters: Final call

Our records show that there are still over 1,000 out of date dosemeters (whole body, neutron and extremity) which have not been returned to dosimetry.

With effect from 08 September 2020, access control systems will only allow people with up to date dosimeters through into active areas.

Current valid dosemeters will be dated SEP2020 or JULSEP2020.

Out of date dosemeters should either be placed in the drop off boxes located at Albion Square, Banna Court and the Vertex Centre, Hinton House at Risley and onsite drop off boxes in B582, B594, B1831 and B405.

Anyone with an out of date dosemeter who is unable to return their badge at any of these locations or you need to collect your new dosemeter please email external.dosimetry@sellafieldsites.com or call 019467 74210

Supporting your return to the workplace guide - Issue 5

Supporting your return to the workplace guide has been revised.

This guide is to help those returning to the workplace think about some of the basic principles of coming back.

More information and support on returning to the workplace can be found in our Coronavirus guidance for employees area located on the intranet and our website.

Just published - Our Sellafield

To help keep you up to date with all our news and views, we have issued this month’s employee newspaper, Our Sellafield.

It includes features on:

  • how our training department has worked hard to allow our apprentices back to the Sellafield Training Centre
  • an insight into SiX, our new approach towards our Social Impact Programme
  • preparing to discuss our safety through Safety Pause 2020

You can view the digital version here.

Young Generation Network webinars

The Young Generation Network (YGN) is holding a series of on-line seminars in September with a focus on decommissioning activities in the UK.

Organised by the new NDA Group Industry Partner Steering Committee, a collection of young professionals representing NDA’s Group companies, each of the webinars feature a YGN and NDA Group speaker.

The themes include digital and tech, transport, waste and research and driving cost reduction, with NDA chief executive officer David Peattie opening the first session on 8th September.

Sellafield Ltd’s Grace Frost pulled the events together with the Steering Committee and said:

These webinars aim to shine the spotlight on key areas of our industry and update the audience on how they are supporting the decommissioning mission.

I’ve been delighted to work alongside the new steering committee, that was established by my colleague Hannah Paterson. We very quickly pulled together the events and the excellent speakers, and I’d be delighted if as many people as possible sign up to the free events.

The document below provides more details of the topics to be covered in each webinar.

Young Generation Network Webinar Agendas (MS Word Document, 18.6KB)

Registration is open to all 4 webinars

Online retirement planning sessions available

If you are 50 years old, or older, you can book a place on one of our online retirement planning sessions. These help people have the tools to plan and have conversations about what they could do next. To book a place, email compensation.benefits@sellafieldsites.com.

For more information about how these sessions have moved online, read the latest issue of Our Sellafield.

Gary McKeating’s social impact interview with Prospect Magazine

Our head of community and development has taken part in a Q&A session with Prospect Magazine on our new approach to social impact. Watch the interview below.

Gary McKeating interview with Prospect Magazine

Social impact multiplied podcast, new episode

Social impact isn’t just good for communities, it is good business.

Find out more in this week’s podcast where Gary is joined by:

  • Former MP and co-author of the Social Value Act 2012, Hazel Blears
  • Director of the Northern Powerhouse, Henri Murison
  • Sellafield Ltd chief executive, Martin Chown
  • Elected Mayor for Copeland, Mike Starkie

Ways to listen:

website

Spotify

Apple

Google

Delivery Programmes – Looking Forward

The latest step in the organisational changes to support the model for delivery of value streams under the Chief Operating Officer can now be confirmed.

The new leadership structure has been designed to more effectively align our operational areas with the future needs of the business. A number of existing operational delivery programmes will be redefined, supported by senior programme leadership changes and new appointments.

As previously communicated within the Retrievals value stream, a new combined silos programme led by Chris Halliwell is merging the Magnox Swarf Storage Silo and Pile Fuel Cladding Silo programmes into a single programme focussed on legacy silos retrievals. Kevin Brown will lead the Containment programme for Retrievals and this will include the transfer of encapsulation plants into the Containment programme.

In the Remediation value stream, a new waste programme is being established to reflect the ongoing need to grow our waste handling and disposal capacity. This will be led by Steve Wordsworth.

In the Spent Fuel Management value stream, the role of Value Stream Lead will be open to application internally and externally across the NDA estate as former lead Paul Brennan is moving over to ES&S. Recognising the upcoming changes in the lifecycle of the facilities, the HALES and WVP Operating Units will be combined into a single High Level Waste Programme led by Stuart Pearson. The existing Magnox Operating Unit will be replaced by a new Reprocessing and Effluent Programme led by Jeff Bone and a Fuel Services and Storage Programme led by Steve Slater.

All of these changes are subject to formal Management of Change arrangements and the detail of supporting moves and opportunities within these organisations will be communicated as the changes are developed.

Latest COVID-19 Risk Assessment is now available

Our COVID-19 Enterprise Risk Assessment is the document which outlines how we’ll make our business Covid-secure. It’s an important document, which sets out the control measures we’re putting in place to prevent the spread of the virus.

It is crucial that employees understand the risk assessment and follow this – to ensure everyone’s safety. Following a review, issue 7 of the risk assessment is now available on the Sellafield Ltd intranet.

The risk assessment defines the controls required for COVID-19 for day to day attendance at work.

The main updates include:

  • A reference added that the risk assessment can be superseded by national or local lockdown measures and that employees should follow Sellafield Ltd communications if this occurs.
  • Canteens are open and face coverings are required to be worn around the servery unless you are specifically exempted from wearing a face covering by the government criteria such as because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability. You can find the government guidance here with regard to exemptions. You can use your own face covering; there will also be face coverings available.
  • Frequency of cleaning in buildings should now be undertaken two times per day, one of which should be at the beginning or end of the working day.
  • If you develop symptoms at work, you are advised to bag basic clothing when exiting change rooms.
  • A pre-job brief has been produced that can be used by facilities to implement ‘enhanced’ cleaning in response to someone with symptoms or a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the workplace.
  • A prompt has been added for those travelling to other work sites to consider current national and local lockdown status.

These changes have been approved by the Enterprise Risk Assessment stakeholder group with representatives from FM, Operations, EHS&Q, and full-time safety reps.

We can all help reduce risks by being aware of our surroundings and of the advice on maintaining workplace distancing wherever possible, maintaining good hygiene and other controls in place.

As well as being aware of measures in place to reduce the risk from Covid-19 we must not lose sight of the other hazards in our workplaces that we still need to manage whilst remaining Covid-19 secure.

Car schools and car sharing

As we continue to restart operations on site and more employees return to their place of work, naturally, there will be questions around the preferred methods of commuting to the workplace, to limit the spread of COVID-19.

To help guide personal choices, our Enterprise Risk Assessment presents a hierarchy for individuals to consider when selecting their method of travel to work, based on their personal circumstances.

By order of preference, these are:

  • walk, run, or cycle
  • use your own car alone or with members of your own household
  • use public transport (wearing face coverings on public transport and Sellafield buses and minibuses is mandatory unless you have an exemption)
  • car share with co-workers you routinely meet at work (e.g. on the same shift and plant)
  • car share with others not from the same household or that you do not routinely meet at work

We’re doing what we can to accommodate as much car parking space for those using their own cars, including the reintroduction of shuttle buses from Yottenfews.

However, we recognise that in some cases, be it not having a car of your own or the distance and cost of the commute, car sharing might be the only feasible option.

Where car sharing is unavoidable, we would remind employees of the following government guidance:

  • share the transport with the same people each time
  • keep to small groups of people at any one time
  • open windows for ventilation
  • travel side by side or behind other people, rather than facing them
  • where seating arrangements allow, face away from each other
  • consider seating arrangements to maximise distance between people in the vehicle
  • clean your car between journeys using standard cleaning products - make sure you clean door handles and other areas that people may touch
  • ask the driver and passengers to wear a face covering

As a means of protecting those at work and your own family at home, we would reinforce the importance of hand washing or hand sanitising before and after a journey, whether you car share or not.

Exemptions from travel quarantine restrictions

As part of its approach to controlling the spread of coronavirus, the government has introduced restrictions on people’s movement following foreign travel to certain countries.

These restrictions mean that people arriving back in the UK from travel to certain countries must quarantine for a period of 14 days.

The government allows some exemptions to these quarantine arrangements, to enable essential work to continue. One exemption is for ‘Nuclear personnel who are essential to the safe and secure operations of a nuclear licenced site’

You can only apply for this exemption from the government if you have this approved by Sellafield Ltd.

Such an exemption would only cover attendance at work – it would not allow people to avoid self-isolation outside of the workplace.

We anticipate there being very small numbers who will meet the exemption criteria. Someone will only meet it if they meet all 3 points below:

  1. Their non-attendance at work would compromise our safety, security or legal obligations (examples include breaches of minimum safety manning, inability to complete statutory maintenance or inability to carry out statutory testing or analysis).

  2. Their attendance at work will not place others who deliver an equally critical role at additional risk of contracting COVID-19 (examples include roles where 2 metre social distancing can be maintained at all times, single point of accountability or specialist skills with little/no interaction with others possessing the same skill).

  3. Their attendance at work is not likely to result in others who deliver an equally critical role being required to self-isolate due to contact with the individual (examples include roles where 2 metre social distancing can be maintained at all times or work that does not require significant time to be spent in close proximity with others).

An update in our guidance for employees area of our website outlines the process for applying for an exemption.

All requests will be considered by the operations cell. If endorsed, they will be signed by the duty director.

If you feel you meet the criteria, you can find the exemptions form in the guidance for employees area of our website.

As we have seen, government guidance on travel and quarantine arrangements is changing regularly. This means that our employees might be away in a country which does not have quarantine arrangements, only for these to be introduced while they’re away.

In these circumstances, employees should follow the process outlined in the policy document. This starts with the employee contacting their line manager at the earliest opportunity.

Arrangements for employees who return from holiday and who are unable to work are outlined in our pay policy, and in this news item.

Selling annual leave reminder - Sellafield Ltd employees

We would like to remind you that you can sell up to 5.5 days annual leave during this financial year.

This will be paid as 5.5 days equivalent salary (including shifts/allowances) of your current working pattern to ensure those selling longer days (for example,10 hour or 12.5 hour shift patterns) gain an equivalent payment to the increased number of hours leave sold.

Calculations for each of the patterns are available if required, please contact: NSBS.Payroll.Team@sellafieldsites.com if you require further detail.

If you would like to sell leave, applications must be received before 31 March 2021. Any applications received after this date will not be processed.

Payment will be made in the next available salary run after the application is processed (please note that this may not necessarily be the next pay date).

Applications can be made by completing the K2 form ‘Selling Surplus Annual Leave’.

Looking after your health and wellbeing is important, regular leave should be planned and taken throughout the year.

This not only allows people to rest properly, but also ensures that the business can manage its resources to allow for the safe and effective running of the site.

Restart of beach monitoring programme

As previously communicated, due to the situation with COVID-19, Sellafield Ltd had to temporarily suspend our 2020 beach monitoring programme.

We will be restarting beach monitoring on 10 August 2020 on the Sellafield beach.

The beach areas that were not surveyed during spring/summer have been scheduled to be completed later in the year.

The programme aims to continue delivering the right balance between beach locations and target areas while considering the views of stakeholders and the need to provide reassurance that risks remain very low.

It is anticipated that the 2020 beach monitoring programme will be completed in full, subject to weather conditions.

The programme has been agreed with the Environment Agency.

We report on findings and progress through the West Cumbria Sites Stakeholder Group and at their environmental health subcommittee meetings.

We completed Quarter 1 of the beach monitoring programme for 2020 in March; the latest quarterly report is available to read on our website.

Public Health England’s recent risk assessment confirms previous conclusions that the risks to people’s health from radioactive objects on beaches around the Sellafield site are extremely low.

My Lifestyle is now here

If you want to see the benefits available to Sellafield Ltd employees in one place, there are just 3 simple steps:

  1. Go to the intranet page (search for ‘Employee Benefits Portal’) and fill in the simple form. If you do not have access to the intranet, send an email to nsbs.personnel.administration@sellafieldsites.com to request access and they will send you a form to complete.
  2. Wait for your username and password to come through from Edenred.
  3. Go to the My Lifestyle website, on a Sellafield or personal device, and make the most of the benefits and discounts.

It’s that easy.

For more information, including the sorts of benefits and discounts included, go to the My Lifestyle intranet page.

Clarity on test, track and trace

The Sellafield Ltd test, track and trace system has been introduced to complement the national system and help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by ensuring those with COVID-19 are quickly identified and able to self-isolate.

Following some confusion over how the system works, here’s what you need to know:

  • if someone on duty at work at Sellafield (this includes Sellafield Ltd employees, ASWs, CSWs and our supply chain contractors who work on the Sellafield site) is feeling unwell and displaying symptoms (high fever, a new and persistent cough, or the sudden loss of taste and smell), they can access the system and take a test
  • you can arrange this test through your line manager, who will book it on your behalf
  • if the test result is positive, the Sellafield Ltd Track and Trace Team will work to identify colleagues you have come into close contact with, so they can also be tested.
  • anyone with a positive result will also be referred to the NHS system. The NHS track and trace system would also work to identify people you have come into close with and contact them directly. In accordance with government guidance, these people would need to self-isolate for 14 days
  • in all circumstances, you must follow the NHS guidance
  • if you are contacted and asked to self-isolate, you must do so. If you are not contacted by the NHS then you should continue to attend work
  • if you start to feel unwell, and develop symptoms (high fever, a new and persistent cough, or the sudden loss of taste and smell), then you should take a test

As a summary:

  • if you are symptomatic for COVID-19, take a test. If this is positive, self-isolate. If it is negative, return to work (unless you have been advised by track and trace not to).
  • if you are worried you have COVID-19, take a test. If this is positive, self-isolate. If it is negative, return to work (unless you have been advised by track and trace not to).
  • if you are contacted by contact tracers, follow their guidance

Please note:

  • NHS guidance is that if you live with someone who has COVID-19 symptoms you should self-isolate for 14 days.
  • if you have been in an area where there has been an outbreak (for example, Carlisle city centre) then you should follow any public health guidance.
  • separate guidance is being produced for people returning from abroad who are asked to quarantine.

Further information

Updated questions and answers on test, track and trace can be found over on our website under the ‘coronavirus guidance for employees’ link.

External information

Guidance for extremely clinically vulnerable and clinically vulnerable employees

As government guidance for people who are extremely clinically vulnerable and clinically vulnerable changes on 01 August, we have the guidance (linked to below) to help employees and their line managers to go through an appropriate process before individual come back to work.

This will allow time for meaningful engagement and conversations between the line manager and employees.

Guidance for people who are extremely clinically vulnerable and clinically vulnerable.

The linked guidance includes that:

  • all employees, including clinically vulnerable and clinically extremely vulnerable, should work from home, unless you cannot work from home. Sellafield Ltd will assist in helping you to work from home (where possible) by providing access to laptops and networks. This could be in your current role or a suitable alternative/new role

  • where it is not possible for you to work from home, Sellafield Ltd will risk assess your role and your individual circumstances to make specific, relevant adjustments to enable you to work safely

  • for individuals in receipt of specific advice from their GP or NHS Specialist to continue shielding after 01 August 2020 due to their individual medical condition, their line manager should make referrals to Occupational Health following discussion between the individual and their line manager, prior to returning to the workplace

  • line managers of anyone who is extremely clinically vulnerable or clinically vulnerable will engage with their employees to understand their situation. We understand that the length of time needed for engagement and referrals will vary for different individuals, in addition to appropriate transitional return arrangements

The advice around COVID-19 testing remains:

  • if you are symptomatic for COVID-19, take a test. If this is positive, self-isolate. If it is negative, return to work (unless you have been advised by track and trace not to)
  • if you are worried you have COVID-19, take a test. If this is positive, self-isolate. If it is negative, return to work (unless you have been advised by track and trace not to)
  • if you are contacted by contact tracers, follow their guidance
  • NHS guidance on test, track and trace

Helping you work remotely

Huge strides have been made in helping our employees work from home and remotely since the outbreak of COVID-19.

Our ramp-up of operations is ongoing and gathering momentum, but due to the constraints and restrictions we have on the number of people who can safely attend the workplace, many people will need to continue to work from home for some or most of the time so that they can make the space for those who have to be at work.

To support our ‘new normal’, new guidance has been produced through human resources on home and remote working.

It links to a series of other useful documents, including updated guidance and FAQs from the cyber security team on how to stay safe and secure while working from home

Employees visiting Spain

For any employees who were, or are, visiting Spain at the point of the quarantine requirement (Sunday 26 July 2020), the 14 days quarantine should be treated in the same way as a self-isolation through the Track and Trace Scheme.

This means that there is no change to the employee categorisation/adjustments in the pay policy, and no requirement to take annual leave for the quarantine period.

Where employees can work from home during this period they should, and line managers should seek to facilitate this at all times. This may mean provision of work packages for those without IT access.

The arrangements for employees with future holidays booked (and for which it is known will require a quarantine period on return) remain unchanged and are detailed in our pay policy FAQs.

Any queries should be referred to HR via email to covid19@sellafieldsites.com.

Going on holiday is a personal choice and unless you can work from home during the 14 day period on your return, the quarantine period would also need to be covered by annual leave, accrued days, unpaid leave or credit time.

Introducing SIx - Our new social impact programme

We have refreshed our social impact programme and relaunched it as Slx - social impact, multiplied.

Its first investment will be Transforming West Cumbria, a £2.2 million fund to help West Cumbria’s most vulnerable communities.

SIx is a new approach to social impact which prioritises projects co-created with the community and stakeholders.

It recognises that more can be achieved in partnership and that impact can be multiplied through collaboration.

Click here to read the full story.

Face coverings

The recent government announcements requiring people to wear face coverings in shops and supermarkets has no impact on Sellafield Ltd’s current position on face coverings as defined in the Enterprise Risk Assessment.

You can choose to wear a face covering of your own in any of our offices and on the Sellafield site including in C1+ areas subject to following the controls in the toolbox talk, but these are not to be worn in C3 and above areas.

If a colleague chooses to wear a face covering, please respect this decision.

Social distancing is our primary means of controlling transmission in the workplace i.e. keeping 2 metres apart, or 1 metre+ with risk mitigation where 2 metre is not viable and following a hierarchy of control defined below:

  • hand washing and surface cleaning
  • keeping the activity time involved as short as possible
  • using screens or barriers to separate people from each other
  • using back-to-back or side-to-side working (rather than face-to-face) whenever possible
  • reducing the number of people each person has contact with by using ‘fixed teams or partnering’ (so each person works with only a few others)
  • finally, if people must work face-to-face for a sustained period with more than a small group of fixed partners, then you will need to assess whether the activity can safely go ahead

The wearing of face coverings or respiratory protective equipment - full face respirator or disposable mask - as a control measure is not mandated within the Enterprise Risk Assessment, however where working in close proximity to another person is unavoidable and prolonged, we will provide workers with respiratory protection where it is requested.

The only exception to this is when a full-face respirator is requested by an individual and introduces other safety hazards to the user from the working environment/task.

In this instance we would re-assess the correct application of the control hierarchy and recommend the most appropriate risk mitigation.

Disposable face masks are being distributed to all Incident Control Centres, Access Control Points, Muster Points, Site Emergency Assembly Points In a phased approach as quick as can be obtained from the supply chain, these will be for use where the hierarchy of control for COVID-19 has been applied and workplace distancing is not viable.

Face masks have already been placed at Criticality Assembly Areas, Interim Criticality Assembly areas and Emergency Reception Centres.

None of the above infringes your choice to wear a face covering. This is not defined as respiratory protective equipment.

Government guidance remains under constant review and the Enterprise Risk Assessment will be updated accordingly should that guidance change.

Mark Neate Environment, Safety and Security Director

Video - It’s good to talk

Site director Steve Bostock encourages everyone to have a conversation within their teams about how they’re feeling returning to work, how they’re managing if they’re continuing to work remotely, and how they’re adapting the way they work to take account for COVID-19.

Take a look at Steve’s video below.

Steve Bostock

Your help needed to ensure everyone keeps access to our network

If you are one of the thousands of our workforce who are currently accessing the network remotely, we need your help.

The numbers of people working from home has increased significantly since lockdown in March and is still on the rise.

In order to provide network access to as many people as possible, it is vital we all think about the way we work when connected.

We need to reduce log in times as much as possible to enable everyone to access the network during the course of the day.

Head of ISO service management Pam Collis said:

Currently we have a maximum capacity for 3,600 staff to simultaneously connect to the network remotely, but there are significantly more with the ability to connect across the business.

When the threshold of 3,600 connections is reached you will see a message ‘Too many users for this realm’ which means all licences are in use, and the only option is to continue to try to connect until one becomes available.

This limit is temporary as a project to replace the current remote access system has been accelerated and is due for delivery in September – the new system can accommodate all staff with remote access logging on at the same time, however until then we will face issues once we hit the 3,600 limit.

We’ve been looking at what other companies in a similar situation have been doing.

Pam added:

We are evaluating options to maximise home and agile working. In the first instance we are asking teams to work together to identify when staff need to be online and when they don’t.

For example, can teams split access to the network at set points during the day. Group A 8am to 10am and 1 pm to 2pm, Group B 10am to midday and 2pm to 3pm.

If we are able to keep our network access available to all through considerate network usage, no further arrangements will need to be implemented.

However, if we find ourselves in a position where large numbers of home workers are unable to gain access to the network it may be necessary to address through implementing access slots to the network.

Top tips for reducing your network access time:

  • you don’t have to be online while you’re writing your emails. Outlook still allows you to create emails even if you’re not on the network. You can then save them as drafts as log on to send several at a time.
  • you can save Word documents, PowerPoint, presentations, Excel spreadsheets onto your laptop’s own hard drive and then log in to transfer multiple documents onto networked drives.
  • Blackberry’s do not use interfere with remote access, so for those employees that have them, they can be used as now.
  • use the Hub to share documents.
  • Polycom video conferencing requires you and others to be on the network to take part – try using the same functionality on Teams.
  • once you and your team have worked out a system to share network time, add a line to your email sign-off explaining when you will be picking up your emails, to help others understand why there may be a delay in replying.

New maternity guides to help employees

The Sellafield Family Network, HR and NSBS have worked collaboratively to develop a set of new guides to help employees and Line Managers better understand the maternity leave process at Sellafield Ltd.

Two guides have been produced – one is for employees who are pregnant and the other is for their Line Managers.

The new guides will be issued when NSBS are notified of an employee becoming pregnant. A copy will also be sent to all pregnant employees.

The Family Network was formed to provide peer support, external signposting and to help employees with any family-related issues they may have. Sub-groups exist covering working families, adoption and fostering, carers, maternity and paternity and IVF, miscarriage and child- bereavement.

Laura Ponting, Chair of the Maternity and Paternity Group, a sub-group of the Family Network said:

We saw an opportunity to update the guidance to help employees and Line Managers better understand the maternity leave process.

In addition to outlining responsibilities and entitlements during pregnancy and maternity leave these documents are designed to provide increased support during the departure from work, the period of maternity leave and the transition back into to the workplace.

We hope that all users will find these documents easy to use and helpful.

Martin Chown, Chief Executive commented:

I’m delighted this guidance has been published as it demonstrates how improvements can be implemented, through collaboration between employee groups, HR and NSBS.

This new guidance will help support Line Managers, employees and their families. I would like to thank both the family network and all the other networks whose passion and commitment are making Sellafield a better place to work.

Congratulations to the Family Network and everyone involved in producing these new guides.

For more information or to get involved in The Family Network, please email: family.network@sellafieldsites.com

Returning to the Sellafield site – Access control information

As operations and projects begin to restart across the business, many of us will be returning to work on the site for the first time since the end of March.

This is to remind you of your responsibilities as a pass holder and give you information on where to get help if needed.

Safe keeping of your pass

Many of us have been working or isolating at home for a number of weeks now and have not used our P4 passes - please make sure you know where your pass is and keep it secure until your return to work.

Lost passes must be reported immediately to the Access Control Team, this office is manned 24/7.

Dated passes

If your pass has expired make sure you arrange to have it renewed at the Pass Office before going on to site - access will be denied for those holding out of date passes.

Pass hygiene

Remember you will generally touch your pass many times a day - clean your pass regularly and don’t place it in your mouth when removing it from your bag.

Accessing site

From the beginning of the pandemic we quickly removed the requirement for our Civilian Guard Force officers to carry out a physical touch during pass checking.

Follow these simple steps for pass checks:

  • on approaching the site gates get your pass ready for inspection
  • clearly present your pass to the officer for visual inspection. The most effective way to do this is by holding it out at arm’s length - this can be done from the holder.
  • never attempt to access site before receiving a positive pass check.

Using Access Control equipment

There has been a rise in the number of people forgetting their pass PIN numbers.

If you need a reminder of your security PIN you can get this from the Main Pass Office, Main Gate reception or HSA1 Sector D-B314.

Do not call the Access Control Team - your PIN number can’t be given to you over the phone.

PIN readers remain in operation, although clearly a touch point they are touched less than door handles. Hand sanitiser is at convenient locations after using these.

Security passes will work on readers from a little distance, there is no need to physically touch a card reader while swiping your pass, only touch readers when there is a requirement to enter your PIN number.

Social distancing reminder

Follow social distancing measures when queuing at turnstiles. We have implemented a small number of one way systems at our high usage areas at HSA2 (NNL) and HSA1 Sector D-B314 and Sector N-B932. Please be patient and follow any signage.

Building control – tracking opening and closing of buildings

As the restart of workstreams on site continues, buildings may be opening that may have been closed before, and others operating to hours different to what would be their usual ones.

It is important that the Site Shift Manager has visibility of which buildings are open and occupied in the event of an emergency on the Sellafield site. This is for everyone’s safety.

Arrangements have been put in place whereby the Contractors Control Room will track the opening and closing of buildings on behalf of the site in order to provide this visibility.

When opening and closing a building, the Building Controller must report into the Contractors Control Room and give them the following information:

  • your building number
  • your name and contact number
  • whether you are a fully SQEP Building Controller
  • the number of people present in the building at that time

When closing the building, contact the Contractors Control Room and give them the following information:

  • your building number
  • your name
  • time the building is closing

This procedure must be followed every time the building is opened and closed.

The instruction does not apply to:

  • buildings that are manned 24/7
  • buildings that come under the control of the Contractors Control Room anyway – here the normal arrangements still apply

This instruction applies even if the Contractors Control Room is not the Area Controller for the building, however in the event of an emergency, buildings will still report to their usual Area Controller.

Collecting IT equipment

Employees can continue to collect their own IT equipment from their office. Please ensure you have informed your line manager of what you are collecting and make an appointment to collect this as outlined above.

Please do not take monitored which are connected to the workstation by a monitor arm.

Employees should undertake an appropriate one-minute risk assessment before carrying any items.

If your items cannot be removed or have already been taken by someone else, then you will be able to arrange to collect replacements. We will confirm details in the coming days.

In the meantime, please do not order new items via Service Now, nor buy them through other means. We do have supplies for all.

Face coverings on Sellafield Ltd buses and mini buses

As of Monday 15 June, face coverings will be required while using public transport in England:

Face coverings to become mandatory on public transport.

This includes if you use public transport to travel to work.

The requirement to wear a face covering extends to Sellafield Ltd operated buses and minibuses.

Face coverings are not the same as face masks. The government announcement highlights:

Face coverings are not the same as face masks. It is important that people do not use medical grade PPE masks to ensure these remain available for frontline staff.

Last month, the government set out advice for people on how to make their own face coverings easily at home, using scarves or other textile items.

These face coverings should cover the mouth and nose while allowing the wearer to breathe comfortably and can be as simple as a scarf or bandana that ties behind the head to give a snug fit.

We produced a toolbox talk Use of face coverings at Sellafield (does not include travel) which has information on wearing face coverings at Sellafield.

For commuting to work, please use your own face covering.

As on-site and inter-site shuttle buses are reintroduced, there will be further communication with regards to requirements and arrangements for face coverings.

For more information or advice, please contact the infrastructure.travel.team@sellafieldsites.com.

We continue our regular review of our Enterprise Risk Assessment in line with government advice and will communicate information next week on ERA issue 4.

Supply Chain Covid-19 – Public Procurement Notice 04/20

An update for the Sellafield Ltd supply chain from Alan Hartley, Sellafield Ltd Interim Supply Chain Director

Following the government publication of PPN 04/20 that replaces the previous Procurement Policy Note (PPN 02/20), we remain committed to playing our part in supporting our supply chain to ensure that our suppliers remain sustainable.

To enable us to do this and to ensure continuity of our critical services, Sellafield Ltd will work closely with the supply chain covered under PPN 04/20 to enable them to make the right decisions for their company and their workforce while continuing to support safe and secure operations.

The supplier relief scheme set up under PPN 04/20 is for those suppliers that deliver critical services that are central to the delivery of our mission and have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. We will deliver this with effect from 1st July 2020.

This is on the basis that throughout this period we maintain value for money for our business and the UK taxpayer and enable the supply chain and Sellafield Ltd to transition to our new normal at the end of the pandemic.

Developing our new leadership standard

When Martin Chown became Chief Executive earlier this year, he set out 5 priorities, one of which was around the importance of leadership.

In this short video, Martin introduces the work that is underway to develop a new leadership standard that will enable us to clearly articulate what great leadership looks like.

We want as many of our employees as possible to work with us to develop the new standard.

Watch the video to find out more about the ways in which you’ll be invited to contribute to the work, and why Martin is so supportive of developing a leadership standard.

Martin Chown

Introducing Microsoft Teams - Friday 17 April 2020

Since the coronavirus pandemic, a lot more employees are working from home. This is putting pressure on our networks. Some employees don’t have any IT network access at home.

As a result we are looking at new ways to help as many of our employees as possible to stay in contact and work from home.

One way we are doing this is by rolling out Microsoft Teams.

Microsoft Teams is a great way for teams to stay in touch without needing access to our network. It allows people to chat, call or video conference.

However, it is important to note that you should not try to access the site from a Sellafield Ltd device (BlackBerry, laptop, desktop, Surface Pro). You also cannot use the system on an iPhone or iPad.

To access Microsoft Teams, please go to office.com in your web browser on your own device (tablet, computer or Android smartphone) and log in there. You should use your normal Sellafield Ltd network email address and password.

We are working to introduce these new systems quickly. This means that some functionality may not work from the start. But keep checking back in as upgrades are being made on a regular basis.

In the near future, we plan to use the Microsoft Teams app. This is a more user-friendly experience. People might find it easier to wait until this is launched.

We also understand that using new technology and new systems takes some getting used to.

The IT helpdesk is unable to provide guidance on how you can use Microsoft Office 365 (now renamed Microsoft 365), but there are lots of resources available online.

These include YouTube self-help videos and how to guides. This video explains how to log on to our Office 365 platform on your own device.

Please access this video on your own device.

video

You should not worry about trying things out and finding what works for you and your colleagues. The most important point to remember is not to share any information or data that is above an OFFICIAL classification.

You can view our information classification guidance in ‘IT support and guidance FAQs’ section of the Coronavirus guidance for employees.

Microsoft Teams is part of Microsoft 365. Look out for further communications on how we are improving the platform.

Where to find out more

We are using the following communication channels to keep you up to date with our ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • A dedicated COVID-19 page on the intranet with key and urgent items highlighted on the homepage
  • Daily email roundups to all line managers so that they can share information with you
  • The employee area of our website. If you subscribe for updates on GOV you will receive an email every time we add new information to this page.
  • A detailed guidance document for employees on our website so that you can quickly access key information on your personal mobile devices
  • Updates are also posted on our corporate Facebook and Twitter pages. If you aren’t following us yet, please do. We’re encouraging you to share our updates on your own social media pages and messaging apps to help ensure as many people as possible get accurate information.

Please continue to follow the social distancing rules set out by the government and the advice of Public Health England.

Thank you for your patience and support to our business.

Mark Neate

Sellafield IT systems – what we’re doing and how you can help

The coronavirus pandemic has brought huge changes to how we all work, and our information services team is working hard to ensure our networks keep running.

This includes

  • Strengthening our network security
  • Increasing the bandwidth of our remote network access
  • Removing unnecessary network traffic
  • Allowing remote access to essential applications
  • Strengthening IT support, including virtual support
  • Daily updates on the IT portal, including new information and guidance

Additional solutions being developed include

  • Rolling out Microsoft Office 365 to employees
  • Expanding our use of Skype with those outside our network
  • Increased use of the NDA hub platform which allows secure access to closed groups for teams or projects
  • Replacing physical remote access tokens with ‘soft’ ones.

We’ll provide updates on these projects as soon as we can, here on the employee area of the website and on our intranet.

What you can do to help

  • Despite the changes we have made, our IT network is still experiencing huge demand. To help, please can everyone remember to log off when you don’t need to be online.
  • Please continue to report IT problems via the helpdesk on 019467 71180 or make use of the use of the Virtual Service Bars.

New remote access tokens

We’re processing a large number of requests for remote access tokens. These requests are being prioritised in accordance with business need and will be posted to the home address we have on file for you in OPMS as soon as possible. If you are concerned that your address is not up to date, please email covid19@sellafieldsites.com with the subject line: RSA Token: change of address.

Please don’t contact the IT helpdesk, the COVID-19 email address or ISO to chase status updates on the status of your remote access token as responding to these is slowing the team up from processing the requests.

You can find some IT questions and answers and guidance notes here.

Welfare and wellbeing

The coronavirus pandemic has led to lots of changes to how we live our lives. These changes take time to adapt to.

It is hard to provide guidance for all employees on the best way to work from home – some people will benefit from the routine and structure of the working day, whereas others will prefer working at quieter times or where there are less distractions. The important thing is that people find a way of working that is right for them and ensures they’re able to do what they need to.

With lots of our employees now working from home, it’s more difficult to access some of our usual welfare and wellbeing services. This includes our network of mental health champions, who might not be available or might be dealing with unusual circumstances of their own.

Line managers should check in with their employees (home working or otherwise) regularly.

There are lots of other useful sources of information. We have listed some of these below.

Mental health charities

Rethink Mental Health has set up an online hub filled with practical support and information for people living with our supporting people with mental illness.

The Mental Health Foundation have a similar site as well as Mind.

BBC News

The BBC coronavirus pages don’t just contain the latest news, they also have a lot of help and guidance. The BBC also have their own mental health guidance pages.

NHS

The NHS website is the place to go for all official government health advice, including relating to mental health and responding to coronavirus.

Sellafield EDI Hub

Employees who have access to the Sellafield Ltd IT network can access our EDI hub. This contains a lot of information, advice and guidance on a range of subjects including coronavirus and mental health.

Employee assistance programme

We also have an employee assistance programme, which can provide specialist guidance and support to employees. Assistance is available by email, over the phone or on their online portal.

In the first instance, please email assist@cic-eap.co.uk with the details of what support you’d like. If you want to speak to someone, leave a number and they will call you back.

You need to have a Sellafield Ltd username and password to access the online portal. This is available on the intranet, or by contacting our Human Resources team by calling 01946 777 316 or 07812 221 128.

Wellbeing app

Employees with a Sellafield Blackberry device can access also access the wellbeing app.

Family network

The Sellafield family network is a voluntary group of Sellafield employees which works to support families.

The group can provide peer-to-peer support and signpost people to other routes for advice and guidance on issues they might face.

If you would like to join the network – to speak to colleagues – or because you’d like to discuss an issue the network might be able to support you with, then please email family.network@sellafieldsites.com.

Employees with network access can access more information on the EDI hub, available from the company intranet.

We have added a mobile friendly general guidance page so that you can easily access the latest company guidance, even when you can’t access the Sellafield Ltd network.

You can view the guidance page here