Georgina Berry, BAR Scotland Area Secretary and Director,
Richard Healey Removals
Georgina Berry: It was a very difficult time for the company. We decided
to close in March to protect our employees and customers, although we kept
up close communication with them and with our service providers, legal and
financial advisers to draw up a plan that has allowed us to safely return to work
now that we’ve been given the go-ahead to do so.
R&S: How have you been preparing for a return to
GB: We’ve been working closely with the BAR’s Scotland Area and with BAR
Director General Ian Studd, who has been attending all our virtual meetings
and has worked tirelessly behind the scenes on guidance for safely restarting
operations (see page 18). We have also ordered a range of PPE, from gloves to
masks and snoods, disinfectants, sanitisers and anti-bacterial hand soaps to make
sure our employees are protected on the job. Staff have their temperature taken
every morning before work starts, and we use foggers to deep clean the office and
vehicles on a daily basis. In addition, we’ve drafted a disclaimer for our customers
to sign that makes sure their properties are safe for our teams to enter.
Our surveyor is completing surveys using a digital platform and, although it
took some time, he is now getting to grips with it. He was initially worried that
he would lose the personal contact with clients, but he is still managing to build
Overall, we’re not entirely sure yet what exactly the new normal will look like,
but we can see that it will be very different from the way we did things before.
R&S: What’s the situation at Richard Healey with
regards to staff?
GB: We have been performing a phased returning to work, starting with the
essential moves we have on our books that cannot wait any longer. Employees are
returning in waves and working to a rigid method statement and risk assessments
to ensure their safety.
June 2020 Removals & Storage 15
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R&S: Do you have any messages for fellow BAR
GB: Over the course of this crisis I’ve found it really uplifting to see how the
Scotland Area has come together. We have been meeting virtually on a regular
basis to support each other as much as possible and I hope this continues for a
long time to come. So, I’d encourage BAR Member firms in other parts of the
country to use and strengthen those existing support networks that are provided
by the Association. Everyone’s going through the same issues as you are, and we’d
all do well to work together to push through this crisis.
Richard Healey Removals can supply companies and customers
with industry-standard PPE, and is offering BAR Members a
10% discount until 31 July with the code R&S10.
For more information, visit www.healeysppe.com
R&S: What’s the situation at Ballards
with regard to staff?
MB: During the lockdown we furloughed nearly all our
100 employees, including all our operational staff. Our
accounts function remained, albeit in a pared-down way.
We kept in regular communication with all our staff and we
wanted to make sure everybody was happy, kept in the loop
and had what they needed from us. We’re now undertaking
a phased return to work, rebooking in the calendar those
moves that we’d previously refunded and trying to re-open
the tap on a significant amount of pent-up demand.
R&S: Do you have any messages for
fellow BAR Members?
MB: I think the situation has confirmed how important
it is to be diversified as a business and to have multiple
income streams. And credit where it is due to the BAR for
their strong and clear response – they’ve shown fantastic
leadership in a time when we only have our moral
compasses to depend on.
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