Financial planners lead the charge to restart Tees economy

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Active Chartered Financial Planners is supporting the government’s plans to help businesses get back to work by beginning to relax lockdown measures and allow staff to return to work in an office environment.

Many businesses in Tees Valley are aiming to re-open by 1 June in order to boost the local economy. Active has already put plans in place to lead the way, making the office a safe environment for those who need to use it, and is urging other firms to follow suit.

In line with the government’s guidance, staff will still be encouraged to work from home if this is practical or if they, or a member of their family, is considered to be vulnerable to COVID 19. A rota system is in place to ensure that a limited number of staff are in the office at any time.

The office has been modified to enable work at an appropriate social distance and wearing face coverings, such as scarves, bandanas or masks, is encouraged. The firm has also invested in NTH Solutions’ NHS decontamination and sanitisation treatment for the building, coating all surfaces in a protective film, killing germs that touch it for up to six weeks.

Active will also be logging the details of anyone who visits the office to allow for more effective tracking and tracing, should this be required.

Karl Pemberton, managing director of Active Chartered Financial Planners, said: “I felt that the government’s roadmap was very clear, and this gives us more scope to open the office for those who need to access it, or who would benefit a change in working scenery from a mental health perspective.

“In my role as chair of the Institute of Directors North East (South), I’ve been supporting many business leaders across the Tees Valley via Facebook groups or video conference chats, to discuss ideas of how we can best support our teams during this difficult period and, at the same time, reinvigorate the local economy.

“We have clearly communicated all health and safety changes we have implemented and we are being dynamic by reacting to the latest announcements from the government as they happen, making sure our colleagues know what is happening every step of the way. We would encourage any businesses looking to welcome staff back to the office environment, even on a minimalist basis, to do the same.

“Should Government guidance allow, we hope to be able to welcome clients back into Active House again from Monday 15 June, on a strict and limited appointment only basis. We will keep you updated as developments occur.”

Paul Gibson, a director and chartered financial planner at Active, said: “We’ve been very fortunate, in that all the team have worked well at home throughout the lockdown, and levels of communication have been exceptional.

“This will continue to happen for as long as needed, however, I will be delighted when we can all be back together again under one roof, and I’m sure many business leaders in the region feel the same.”

James Tapster, decontamination manager at NTH Solutions, said: “It is clear that Active Financial Planners has gone the extra mile to help staff return to work as safely as possible during the current climate.

“By taking out our infection control deep cleaning and advisory service, staff can be reassured that their premises have been deep cleaned and decontaminated to NHS standards as businesses begin to reopen their offices to employees and customers.”