Updated COVID-19 advice for Cooplers

Updated COVID-19 advice for Cooplers

As of Thursday 5th November, the government is introducing new temporary regulations aimed at combating the
spread of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 virus and we wanted to update the Coople community on how we can continue to support the effort to stop the spread of the virus. These new regulations are expected to be in effect for 28 days and will last until Wednesday 2nd December at least, however this period may be extended. In comparison with other measures introduced previously, these new regulations identify some economic and social activities as restricted business and restricted services that are required to either close or operate within strict guidelines while many other activities remain largely unaffected, provided they are able to operate with appropriate safety measures. The full text of new regulations can be found on this web address.

While we keep in constant contact with all our clients, in line with Public Health England guidelines we invite the whole Coople community to:
• Download and activate the NHS COVID-19 virus contact tracing app;
• Wash and sanitise hands as often as possible;
• Wear face covering when using public transport or when indoors in shops or workplace;
• Maintain social distancing whenever possible.

We also strongly advise all Cooplers who may:
• Develop symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) (a new, continuous cough, loss of sense of smell or taste, a
high temperature) however mild;
• Have received a positive COVID-19 virus test result (whether or not you have symptoms);
• Live in the same household as someone with COVID-19 virus symptoms or who has received a positive test
result;
to stay at home and not travel or attend work and check the official stay at home guidance.

If you have recently attended work, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can inform people who were in close contact with you. You must stay at home and start to self-isolate for at least 10 days from the onset of the symptoms, and arrange to have a Covid-19 test; the result of the test will determine how long you must stay at home and self-isolate. If you or anybody in the household where you live are vulnerable or extremely vulnerable, you should be following the guidance on shielding.

You will be able to claim SSP if you are self-isolating or shielding, contact info@coople.com or hr@coople.com for more information on SSP or visit https://www.gov.uk/statutory-sick-pay.

If you are working on site with a client:
• Only attend work if you are free of any symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) (a new, continuous cough, loss of the sense of smell or taste, a high temperature)
• Remember to wash hands for 20 seconds more frequently and catch coughs and sneezes in tissues
• Frequently clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are touched regularly, using standard cleaning products
• Where possible remain 2 metres apart, check if there are floor markings to mark the distance, particularly in the most crowded areas (for example, where queues form)
• Where it is not possible to remain 2 metres apart, you should work side by side, or facing away from each other, rather than face to face if possible
• Where face-to-face contact is essential, this should be kept to 15 minutes or less wherever possible
• If you are travelling to your workplace you will still need to observe the social distancing guidance whilst you are travelling, as far as is practical. Social distancing means staying 2 metres apart from other people

Before posting jobs we always check with our clients that:
• Businesses are allowed to operate. Types of business allowed to operate include the food chain
(production, distribution, processing, sale, retail and delivery of goods), storage and distribution
facilities, transport and delivery of goods, postal services, health and social care, utilities (gas, electricity,
water and telecommunications) and other services.
• Any work can be carried out with appropriate health and safety measures and procedures in place,
including the provision of adequate handwashing facilities, use of floor markings to help maintaining
social distancing, particularly in the most crowded areas (for example, where queues form) and regular
and frequent cleaning and disinfecting of tools, objects and surfaces that are used by different people,
particularly at the end and beginning of shifts.

Additionally, for customer-facing businesses we also ask whether they:
• Use signage to direct movement into lanes, if feasible, while maintaining a 2 metre distance
• Regulate entry so that the premises do not become overcrowded
• Use additional signage to ask customers not to enter the premises if they have symptoms
• Use plexiglass barriers at points of regular interaction as an additional element of protection for workers and customers (where customers might touch or lean against these, ensure they are cleaned and disinfected as often as is feasible in line with standard cleaning procedures)

Your health and wellbeing are of the utmost importance so please be responsible when accepting and/or attending
work and if you are still unsure whether you’re supposed to go into work or not, just contact us by phone or email at info@coople.com or hr@coople.com.

Photo competition for Cooplers

Photo competition for Cooplers

Photo competition for Cooplers

We recently launched a photo competition to spotlight the exceptional work and talent within our community. If you missed the initial announcement, do not worry. There is still plenty of time to get involved for the chance to win £100 and be featured on our pages!

Read on for more background information on why we’re doing this competition and how you can participate.

We want to spotlight you at work

Over the last couple of months, Coople has started to look different. We’ve transitioned to using black and white visuals and our Coople pink is now reserved for accents and highlights. As our brand evolves, we want to highlight the expertise of our flexible employees and emphasise their versatility, talent, and commitment at work. The most authentic way to do this is to use real photos of real Cooplers.

Between 8th October – 1st November, we encourage you to send in photos showcasing yourself and your skills at work. A public vote will determine the three winning photos. We will reward the three Cooplers who gather the most votes with £100 each!

 

What we’re looking for

We want to spotlight the versatility, professionalism and ambition of our Cooplers at work. We want to see photos that truly demonstrate the quality of our workforce – this means no selfies, no blurry images and no leisure related pictures.

Camera shy? No problem. Since we are looking for examples of exemplary workers, we’re focusing on your skills and dedication in the workplace. As long as we can clearly see your committed attitude at work, there’s no problem if your face is not the central focus. Just be sure to showcase your skills!

If you would like more information on our photo guidelines, click here for our tips on how you can submit your best photos and the competition terms and conditions.

How to enter

To take part in our photo competition for Cooplers, simply fill in the form with your contact details and submit your best photo at this link, or by hitting the button below. Make sure to click the enter button to complete your entry! You can submit as many pictures as you like to increase your chances of winning.

Please note that each submitted photo will be reviewed by Coople. Once it has been approved, it will be displayed in the public gallery for voting. You can vote once a day and of course, invite your friends and family to vote as well.

Best of luck – we look forward to seeing you at work!

Update: Coople continues operating furlough scheme in August

Update: Coople continues operating furlough scheme in August

Since March, Coople has been supporting many of you via the government’s furlough (job retention) scheme. In our previous update, we indicated an end date of 31st July for these payments. We are very pleased to be able to now extend the scheme to the end of August.

What are the latest updates?

  • Since 1st July you are eligible for ‘Flexible Furlough’. This means that you can take shifts on the Coople platform and you will be topped up to the level of your furlough payments.
  • From 1st August the financial burden to Coople of continuing the Job Retention Scheme increases. Employers are required to pay the National Insurance and Pension contributions of those employees on furlough. While we have more and more jobs on the platform, we know that the easing of lock down measures has not yet led to the return of jobs in the way the government, and all of us, had hoped.

What actions are we taking?

We have decided to continue operating the job retention scheme during August to provide our most loyal workers financial security throughout the summer.

What does that mean for you?

  • There is no action required if you wish to continue receiving Furlough payments from Coople in August. If you do not need continued payments from the Furlough scheme because you have found alternative work, please notify us and we will remove you from the scheme
  • If you wish to take advantage of Flexible Furlough to keep building your skills and ratings on our platform, you can work as many shifts as you like. This is a great way to lock in those longer-term jobs, and potentially increase your income again, especially if your furlough payments haven’t been very high.
  • To help you plan, we do not expect to continue operating the Furlough scheme after August (last payment will be on Friday 28th August). Our cost of operating the programme will increase further in September and our job forecast looks very healthy.

We are very pleased to be able to continue to support you in this way. Our mission is to help you reach your goals and we know that financial security is very important to be able to do this.

The signs of burnout and how to recover

The signs of burnout and how to recover

Burnout is a state of physical, mental and emotional exhaustion caused by overexertion and excessive and prolonged stress. Symptoms include frequent illness and lowered immunity, constant fatigue, loss of motivation and reduced performance. It’s by no means a rare phenomena, either – a study found that over 600,000 UK workers suffered from work-related anxiety, depression or stress in 2018 and 2019. The same study also found that a staggering 12.8 million working days were lost due to burnout symptoms. Research has also shown that burnout not only affects your wellbeing, your brain(!) and performance, but can cause strain on relationships too. And it’s not just work – accumulated stress in our daily lives as a result of major change or challenges can be the culprit too. Due to its widespread effects, prevention and treatment is key.

Signs of pre-burnout

Pre-burnout and depression share many similar symptoms, including but not limited to:

  • Increased cynicism and negative outlook
  • Persistent tiredness
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Increased sugar/alcohol consumption
  • Decreased quality of work

Overcoming burnout

We’ve gathered a number of tips to guide you through overcoming mild cases of burnout below. In more severe cases, we advise our Cooplers to reach out to more appropriate sources of support such as your local GP and online NHS mental health support lines for advisory guidance. Remember, you are not alone in your struggle!

Find a healthy work-life balance

As the Coople mantra goes: work to live, don’t live to work! Life is about more than just the 9-5 (or whatever flexible hours you choose as a Coopler) grind. Pursue creative endeavours, invest time in your interests and social life to reconnect with life outside of work and deadlines.

Take time for yourself

Exercise, a quality sleep schedule, nourishing meals and proper “me time” – these are all touted regularly as treatments for stress and other similar ailments, but for good reason. Having a solid self care routine can do wonders for the busy individual, so make sure you’re setting time aside each day to disconnect from work and focus on yourself and your wellbeing.

Set boundaries

If you’re reaching capacity on what you can manage in your personal and work life, don’t be afraid to take a stance and say “no”. If you’re feeling on the cusp of (pre)burnout, it’s also a good idea to take a step back to assess the underlying cause. Are you working too many long nights? Is the job hunt overwhelming you? Are your social obligations, fitness goals and home life on top of your work aspirations too much to balance? Once you pinpoint the root, you can begin recuperating.

Remember: if you’re suffering from (pre)burnout, there are sources of support you can reach out to. We encourage you to speak to your GP or call the NHS by dialing 111 for advice on treatment and recovery. Alternatively, you can reach out to our team at +44 20 8338 9333 for advice and further support.

Working during the COVID-19 crisis: Guidelines for Cooplers

Working during the COVID-19 crisis: Guidelines for Cooplers

Updated on 01.06.20

Dear Cooplers,

Following the update of official guidelines by the government and further to our previous advice about working during the COVID-19 crisis, Coople continues to fully support the national effort to tackle the virus. We keep monitoring advice from Public Health England, NHS and Health & Safety Executive and will review and update this advice as and when necessary.

Social distancing is a public health measure fundamental to reduce the spread of infection and we are in constant contact with all our clients to address any concern raised on social distancing within the workplace.

To reduce social contact while working during the COVID-19 crisis, the government has required by law that some businesses and venues close to members of the public.

Some businesses and services, identified as essential or able to operate with social distancing measures in place, remain open and continue to operate. From Monday 1st June some types of business are allowed to resume operations, with more types allowed to do so from 15th June. Employers who have people in their offices or on site should ensure that employees are able, where possible, to follow Public Health England (PHE) guidelines on social distancing (including, where possible, maintaining a 2 metre distance from others), and hygiene (washing their hands with soap and water often for at least 20 seconds).

Coople is liaising with all clients to ensure that PHE guidelines are followed at all times however, these guidelines also recognise that in some specific settings it may not be possible to follow in full the guidance on social distancing. In that case employers must take all the mitigating actions possible to reduce the risk of transmission between their staff. Potential mitigating actions are set out in these illustrative industry examples.


Ultimately, we rely on everybody’s cooperation and sense of responsibility and we strongly advise all Cooplers who are working during the COVID-19 crisis to:

  • Do not travel to or attend work if you are unwell with symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • Stay at home if you or anybody in the household where you live develop symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) (a new, continuous cough and/or a high temperature) however mild. You must stay at home for at least 7 days from the onset of the symptoms, if after 7 days the symptoms worsen or are no better, contact NHS 111 online in line with the stay at home guidance
  • If you or anybody in the household where you live are vulnerable or extremely vulnerable, you should be following the guidance on shielding

You will be able to claim SSP if you are self-isolating or shielding, contact info@coople.com or hr@coople.com for more information on SSP

If you are working on site with a client

  • Only attend work if you are free of any symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) (a new, continuous cough and/or a high temperature, loss of sense of taste/smell)
  • Follow the client’s Health & Safety procedures in full and at all times
  • Remember to wash hands for 20 seconds more frequently and catch coughs and sneezes in tissues
  • Frequently clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are touched regularly, using standard cleaning products
  • Where possible remain 2 metres apart, check if there are floor markings to mark the distance, particularly in the most crowded areas (for example, where queues form)
  • Where it is not possible to remain 2 metres apart, you should work side by side, or facing away from each other, rather than face to face if possible
  • Where face-to-face contact is essential, this should be kept to 15 minutes or less wherever possible
  • If you are travelling to your workplace you will still need to observe the social distancing guidance whilst you are travelling, as far as is practical. Social distancing means staying 2 metres apart from other people
  • If you’re using public transport, you may want to wear face covering

We are supporting a number of businesses that are either classed as essential or can operate with social distancing measures in place and in all cases, we are keeping in close contact with them to ensure that they take all the possible steps to ensure safe conditions for all Cooplers.

What we are asking businesses who are working during the COVID-19 crisis

  • Whether they are considered “essential” and/or are allowed to operate. This include the food chain (production, distribution, processing, sale and delivery of goods), transport and deliveries of goods, postal services, health and social care, utilities (gas, electricity, water and telecommunications), outdoor markets and other services.
  • If the business is not considered essential, we ask clients to ensure that work can be carried out respecting the social distancing guidance
  • Provide additional pop-up hand washing stations or facilities if possible, providing soap, water, hand sanitiser and tissues and encourage staff to use them
  • Where it is possible to remain 2 metres apart, use floor markings to mark the distance, particularly in the most crowded areas (for example, where queues form)
  • Where it is not possible to remain 2 metres apart, staff should work side by side, or facing away from each other, rather than face to face if possible
  • Where face-to-face contact is essential, this should be kept to 15 minutes or less wherever possible
  • As much as possible, keep teams of workers together (cohorting), and keep teams as small as possible
  • Splitting staff into teams with alternate day and night shift
  • Spreading out standard processes, so that only one team needs to be on the premises to complete a task at a given time
  • Ensure frequent cleaning and disinfecting of objects and surfaces that are touched regularly, using standard cleaning products and particularly at the end and beginning of shifts
Additionally, for customer-facing businesses
  • Use signage to direct movement into lanes, if feasible, while maintaining a 2 metre distance
  • Regulate entry so that the premises do not become overcrowded
  • Use additional signage to ask customers not to enter the premises if they have symptoms
  • If feasible, place plexiglass barriers at points of regular interaction as an additional element of protection for workers and customers (where customers might touch or lean against these, ensure they are cleaned and disinfected as often as is feasible in line with standard cleaning procedures)

Your health and wellbeing are of the utmost importance so please be responsible when accepting and/or attending work and if you are still unsure whether you’re supposed to go into work or not, just contact us by phone or email at info@coople.com or hr@coople.com.

Kind regards,

Your Coople Team

Financial support for Cooplers during COVID-19

Financial support for Cooplers during COVID-19

During these exceptional times, we want to support you, our Cooplers, who rely on us for reaching your regular earnings goals, as much as you support us all year round with your commitment and dedication. We are pleased to let you know that a large number of Cooplers will be able to join the Government’s Job Retention Scheme and we can therefore pay you a part of your regular Coople earnings for March, April, and potentially May.

You will qualify for this scheme, if:

  • You have received at least 1 payslip in February 2020 AND

  • You worked with Coople for a minimum of 10 shifts between 01/01/2020 and 31/03/2020 OR you earned more than £5,000 with Coople in the 2019/2020 tax year

These criteria are based on government rules and guidance, which we have to follow to ensure that we, as a business, qualify for the scheme.

How does the Job Retention Scheme work?

  • We will reach out directly to all Cooplers who qualify for the scheme, letting you know how much money you can receive, and what you need to do to participate. Please look out for these messages, which will be sent via Email by April 8th, as you need to opt in before you can receive any payments.

  • If you qualify, you will receive 80% of your average weekly earnings with Coople in the 2019/2020 tax year, including holiday pay. Normal tax and NI deductions will also apply and you will receive these payments on the same paying schedule as you normally receive your Coople salary.

  • While being on furlough, you will not be able to work shifts with Coople. However, there are no restrictions on you finding work with other employers. If you receive universal credit or other benefits, your payments might change because your earnings will vary.

We hope that you will find this financial contribution helpful during these testing weeks. The Coople team is doing everything we can to help you and your fellow Cooplers. If you have any questions, please have a look at our FAQ below. If you still can’t find what you are looking for, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our team.

In the meantime, please stay safe and keep well!


FAQ

When will I know whether I qualify?

We will reach out to all Cooplers who qualify by April 8th via Email. If you would like to participate in the scheme please respond to the Email by 12th April 2020.

How do the qualification criteria work?
  • HMRC have decided that only temporary workers who received a payslip by their staffing agency in February 2020 can participate in that agency’s scheme.
  • The aim of the scheme is to support businesses who cannot maintain their current workforce, because their operations have been severely affected by coronavirus. If you worked for more than 10 shifts with us between January and March 2020, or you earned more than £5,000 with Coople in the 2019/2020 tax year, we consider you to be a member of our regular workforce, who relies on income from Coople for a significant portion of your income. If you only work with us occasionally, we recommend that you reach out to the employers (firms or staffing platforms) where you earn the majority of your income and enquire about their job retention schemes.
Why do different staffing agencies use different qualification criteria?
  • The Job Retention Scheme is new and has been designed by the government very quickly. As a result of that, it left room for interpretation on which staffing agency workers qualify.
  • We can assure you that our HR, Finance and Operations teams have worked hard to design criteria that support as many workers as possible and are still in line with the intention of the government’s scheme. We are certain that all of our competitors have done the same.
How much money can I get if I qualify?

If you qualify, you will receive 80% of your average weekly earnings with Coople in the 2019/2020 tax year, including holiday pay, and up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. Normal tax and NI deductions will also apply. You will receive these payments on the same paying schedule as you normally receive your Coople salary.

How do I know how much I earned on average in 2019/2020?

You can check out your payslip.

When will my furlough period start?

We can backdate the scheme up to March 1st. If you haven’t worked any shifts since March 1st, your furlough period will start on that day. If you have worked shifts after, it will start on the day following your last shift.

Do I have to agree to be furloughed?

Yes. If you are eligible for this scheme we will send you an email. Please read the email and respond by 12th April 2020 if you wish to be furloughed.

When will I be paid for March?

March payment will be paid on 17th April 2020.

Can I still work with other employers or agencies?

You are still permitted to work with other agencies whilst being furloughed by Coople

Can I be put on the Job Retention Scheme by more than one employer?

Yes. If you qualify for other agencies’ schemes, you can be furloughed by them as well. There is no maximum number of employers who can furlough you.

If there is work available at a later stage, do I get a choice about whether to go back to work or remain furloughed?

Once you are furloughed, you will not be permitted to work via Coople for a minimum of 3 weeks. After the initial 3 week period, if there is work available, Coople will reactivate your profile and you will be able to book shifts as usual.

What are my options if I don’t qualify for Coople’s Job Retention Scheme?
  • If you work more regularly or earn more money with another employer or staffing agency, we recommend that you get in touch with them and enquire about their Coronavirus Job Retention Schemes.
  • If you do not qualify for any of them, you might be eligible for Universal Credit or Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). You can find more information about your options here.
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