deverellsmith’s steps to protect both company and employees during COVID-19 

“Crisis doesn’t build character, it reveals it”

The spread of COVID-19 has already had a significant impact on the global economy and people’s lives, so alongside every small business, deverellsmith has had to put actions in place to ensure both our company and the heart of the us, our employees, are protected during such uncertainty.

Here Ella Beese, who manages our experienced hires into the business, demonstrates the steps deverellsmith has taken.

“We took the time to assess the market, look at the resources needed, the teams that were and weren’t hiring and made the decision to furlough 35 of the team.”

It’s been an unusual time for onboarding, the beginning of the year was a monumental time for us in making key strategic hires into the business and we have continued by onboarding these members of staff into the business during lockdown. Over the past two months we have welcomed seven new starters into the team. Two only had two weeks in the business, three had one very chaotic first day and two were onboarded 100% virtually.

Due to the government retention scheme, deverellsmith was unable to furlough staff who joined the business after 1st February 2020. To avoid a delayed start date we chose to virtually onboard new employees.

Here’s a summary explaining deverellsmith’s business and employment decisions during COVID-19:

  • Furlough. 35 members of the team put on furlough from April 1st
  • Payment. April basic salary at 100% & May at 80% regardless of the £2.5K government cap
  • Commission. All bonuses and commission to be paid in full over a three-month period
  • Training. 10-14 hours of training per week for all furloughed staffed
  • Volunteering. All furloughed staff are using their real estate networks to help the ‘Do Some Good campaign
  • Donations. All staff have donated 1% of their salaries in helping the NHS & key workers
  • Promotions. We have made two promotions in May
  • Redundancies. No redundancies have been made
  • Hiring. We are actively hiring for experienced consultants
  • Benefits. A new and updated benefits package
  • Onboarding. 7 new hires into the business over the past two months
  • Contractors. We offered furlough to all of our PAYE contractors

deverellsmith is proud to be part of the Do Some Good initiative, connecting property firms with charities to provide space, resources and funding. Furloughed employees have volunteered as logistical support acting as a virtual call centre. Over 100 individuals and 60 property firms signed up to the initiative supporting vulnerable and at risk groups. Some of the team successes include: providing residential properties for families victim of domestic abuse and veterans supporting Nightingale hospital and PPE production warehouses.

Andrew Deverell-Smith, CEO of deverellsmith commented, “I’m incredibly proud of our team and the brand we have created over the past 14 years. We haven’t taken it lightly to furlough a large proportion of the team but my number one priority is to protect each and everyone one of them and we believe we have put the actions in place to enable as much security as possible in such an uncertain time. I’m delighted to be able to pay full salaries in April and only cut basic salaries by 20% in May and I’m confident we will have the full team back together soon and although it is unknown the effects COVID-19 will have on the economy, I’m excited what the future holds”

If you’re interested in hearing further about the changes deverellsmith have put in place, or if you’re keen to explore our hiring plans, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Ella Beese.

Ella Beese is the manager of experienced hires into our business. She is currently recruiting across all sectors of property, please contact her at Ella.beese@deverellsmith.com or on 0203 823 4397.

Deverell Smith Limited, 2nd Floor, Cannon Green, 1 Suffolk Lane, London, EC4R 0AX Tel: 020 7291 0900