News & Reviews

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Update

Hannah Forbes, Head of Brand and Content Managment

By Hannah Forbes | First published: 16th March 2020 (last updated 3rd June)

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Thank you for your prompt arrangements for my cooker, the two people who fitted it were kind and kept to an appropriate distance using all precautions possible. I was exceptionally pleased with this in these times. Once again many, many thanks.

A Forbes Rentals Customer, June 2020


COVID-19 – Protecting our staff and our customers

As we all persevere with navigating the challenges of COVID-19, the importance of laundry, refrigeration and other necessary kitchen appliances has become increasingly apparent. Whilst lockdown continues, we have all become more conscious of our hygiene routines. We are washing our clothes more regularly, and staying at home means we need larger storage capacity for food, drink and medicines. Notably, we also appear to have become a nation of bakers, so our ovens are becoming ever more central to the home.

In order to support our customers during this pandemic, Forbes has adapted our operations and processes to enable us to continue to deliver vital services to our customers. We continue to adhere to all of the Government Guidelines and are doing all that we can to keep our staff and our customers as safe as possible.

Please rest assured that if any of our staff become symptomatic, or have come into contact with anyone who is, or has been, symptomatic, we will support them whilst they adhere to the officially recognised isolation requirements.

We have completed an in depth risk assessment for Covid-19 and a copy is available on request. The key areas that we continue to focus on are:


Enhanced hygiene procedures

We have installed sanitising stations at our warehouses and offices and staff have been provided with PPE including gloves and masks where necessary. Staff are reminded to regularly wash their hands for at least 20 seconds, and are required to do this upon arrival at our sites as well as when using the kitchen areas and break rooms whilst on site.

Our cleaning staff are carrying out daily cleaning of the common touch points in our buildings. We have also provided cleaning supplies to all departments and vehicles to enable our staff to contribute to their own wellbeing by wiping down shared office items such as printers, copiers, kettles etc.

Each installation team or service engineer’s vehicle is equipped with a hand washing station which has soap and water as well as hand sanitiser. PPE is provided to be worn where necessary and disposed of safely between customer visits.


No-contact deliveries/installations

Before each home visit we are checking if customers are shielding, isolating or displaying any of the symptoms of COVID-19. In the event that they or anyone in their household were symptomatic, we would need to reschedule the callout. We are asking that customers observe the 2 metre distancing guidelines at all times, and ideally that our customers do not remain in the same room whilst our staff carry out the equipment installation or servicing. Paperwork has been greatly reduced and, in order to minimise the use of cash, we prefer any payments to be made by debit or credit card where possible. Our delivery and service engineers are instructed to cancel an appointment if they feel that, upon arrival, the 2 metre distancing is not being adhered to or that a household member is displaying COVID-19 symptoms.


Remote working

With a great number of staff working from home, you can be assured that we have taken all of the necessary precautions to ensure that all data is protected. We are extremely proud of the way in which our staff have adapted to their new working conditions but please bear with us when talking to us if your experience isn’t quite as seamless as it should be. We are in regular contact via video meetings, phone calls and emails with all employees and this contact maintains our important company team spirit and ensures that our staff are always fully updated as to our current guidance and procedures in this rapidly evolving situation. As a company we are doing all we can to support our staff with greater flexibility in regards to working hours which allows staff to juggle childcare, home schooling and work commitments, as they determine necessary.


Social distancing at work

We are adhering to all of the social distancing guidelines and ensuring that our staff can retain the required 2 metre distance where possible. We have added floor marking and signage to reinforce social distancing requirements and have restricted the need for our staff to move around between departments. Whilst vehicle sharing is not generally permitted, for installations of large or heavy items, we have implemented a fixed pairing system where a set team of two employees are permanently rostered to work together.

With a large number of our office staff still home-working, remaining head office staff continue to be able to work at their desks in accordance with the 2 metre distancing guidelines. Drop off and collections zones have been set up to reduce the need for face-to-face handovers of supplies. The kitchen and break room areas, previously the hub of staff interactions, have for the moment been reconfigured to maintain the distancing requirements. Break times are staggered and additional signage is displayed to remind everyone of the importance of not relaxing in the battle against spreading the virus.


We continue to constantly review our processes to ensure that we are taking all of the precautionary measures that we can in order to keep everyone safe. As ever our focus is on delivering a first class service to our customers whilst looking after our dedicated and loyal teams. We thank you, as ever, for your continued custom and hope that you all stay alert and stay safe.