1 June 2020 Company News, Metering, Smart Meter Rollout

Customer communication – Remobilisation of non-essential works

Gas engineer testing fireplace

SMS announces remobilisation of non-essential works

On 23rd March 2020, in the hours before official national lockdown measures were introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we led our industry by stopping all non-essential field work – including the planned installation of smart meters – until further notice.

During this period, we have continued to provide full emergency field support and related activities to our customers, ensuring the maintenance of their own essential services and the country’s energy network, and has been fully supported by our office-based staff working seamlessly from home.

This programme of activity has been delivered in accordance with Government guidance, in adherence to the required health and safety standards, and – thanks to our staff – in line with our normal high standards of service.

Following the Government’s announcement detailing phased lifting of restrictions, we are now able to confirm that we are working with our partners to agree a phased and progressive resumption of all non-essential field work, commencing from 1st June 2020.

This gradual and phased remobilisation, planned to take place over a period of three months, will prioritise the recontinuation of all non-essential field-based activities and is to be governed and enabled by our comprehensive COVID-19 Business Risk Assessment and supporting method statements. You can find a summary infographic of these measures below.

The control measures outlined in our Risk Assessment have been developed in consultation with our employees, contractors and customers, adhere to Government guidelines (both national and devolved) and will be delivered in a controlled manner. Our Risk Assessment includes new measures for engineers and field work and also details later phases of our Return to Work plan, including for office and warehouse staff, and new travel guidelines.

We believe this plan is measured, well thought-out, and reassures our customers – and their consumers – that safety is at the forefront of our remobilisation process.

Our extended Safe & Healthy Return to Work Guide, which is based on our COVID-19 Business Risk Assessment, is available upon request. Please get in touch with your dedicated customer contact or email info@sms-plc.com to obtain this document, or if you have any further queries.

UPDATE: SMS announced on 1st July 2020 that we have returned the funds received from the UK Government under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Furlough Scheme) and also withdrawn from the scheme forthwith. Following positive feedback from our people and customers regarding our phased re-mobilisation, we have also announced our decision to accelerate this process and return colleagues who are currently on a furlough leave of absence, with the plan to have everyone back to work by mid-August. As per Government Guidance, we continue to ask employees to work from home if they are able to.