Coronavirus Update

The coronavirus outbreak has affected all of us and, during these challenging times, it is becoming very clear that we are all going to have to start doing things differently for the foreseeable future.

We have been working for some time to support our staff, clients, supply chain partners and stakeholders through this unprecedented and sustained period of uncertainty. Our absolute priority is, and will remain, keeping people safe and we are following all of the advice and guidance provided by Public Health England and the UK government.

MOLA’s senior management team is working together to ensure operational resilience and the delivery of business-critical services, and we continue to consider and enact additional measures as the situation evolves. So, we wanted to share the immediate steps we have taken to ensure the welfare of MOLA staff and their families, support our clients and the people who rely on us and continue to fulfil our charitable purpose for the benefit of the wider community:

  • Monitoring people’s wellbeing – everyone at MOLA has been briefed on the latest health guidance on social-distancing and self-isolation, and we are following advice where suspected cases of COVID-19 arise within our staff, clients or other stakeholders; we have also provided additional advice on how our people can look after their mental health, including making sure our teams check in regularly with each other and know how to access support.
  • Continuing to deliver services – where possible our staff are now working from home, which means we will still be responding to emails, telephone calls and continuing to deliver vital projects and partnership work where we can; however this represents challenges in terms of our fieldwork projects and, following the updated guidance from the UK government, we have taken the decision to stand down all of our sites as of Tuesday 24 March. We are reviewing what we need to do at each of these sites to make them safe and secure, and are working closely with our clients to enable us do this both swiftly but also in a way that leaves sites in the best position to resume our work once it is safe to do so. We will, of course, continue to monitor this situation on a daily basis and keep in touch with our clients and sub-contractors.
  • Protecting people’s jobs – we were pleased to see the Chancellor’s announcement last week concerning the establishment of a coronavirus retention scheme as our people are undoubtedly our greatest asset, and plan to apply for these relief measures to assist us in supporting our staff over the weeks to come; additionally we will ensure colleagues are aware of other financial support being made available to individuals and families by the government.
  • Postponing public events – we have taken the decision to postpone or cancel all MOLA public events until at least 1 June 2020, which we feel is an important and responsible precautionary measure to help safeguard against the spread of COVID-19. Our charitable purpose – benefiting society through archaeology – is who MOLA is and what we are all about. We will continue to review the situation and look forward to resuming our events programme when it is safe and viable to do so, as this is a critical part of our charitable mission and very important to us. If you have any queries or concerns in the meantime, then please contact Magnus Copps, Head of Audience Engagement: 07801 572848 / mcopps@mola.org.uk.
  • Contingency planning and communications – although things are evolving quickly, we have created emergency and continuity plans that we can put into action depending on the latest guidance, we are committed to responding proactively to the challenges we face and this includes continuing to communicate via our usual channels, including our website and social media – personal connections are especially important at times such as these so let’s all keep in touch.

Finally, as you will be aware, this is a rapidly changing situation. The MOLA leadership team is meeting at least once a day to review emerging detail and adjust our response appropriately. We’ll continue to follow official advice and let you know if we need to make more changes. We would also like to thank our brilliant staff who have been incredibly resilient, dependable and thoughtful during these uncertain times.

Thank you for your understanding and, in the meantime, we wish you and your loved ones well.

MOLA statement on COVID-19 24th March 2020