11th May 2020 (pm)
Since our post earlier today, the English government guidelines have been laid out and are much clearer. Therefore, we feel we should quickly update you with our further thinking on Reflexologists returning to work.
At Professional Reflexology since the start of this pandemic we always knew one of the issues outlining a return to work would be that the government wouldn't advise us directly as reflexologists. Therefore we believe we come under the "personal care" category as outlined in the passage below, which is referring to Phase 3 of the lockdown lift (taken from page 31 of the government’s “Our Plan To Rebuild” strategy documents released this afternoon):
"The next step will also take place when the assessment of risk warrants further adjustments to the remaining measures. The Government's current planning assumption is that this step will be no earlier than 4 July, subject to the five tests justifying some or all of the measures below, and further detailed scientific advice, provided closer to the time, on how far we can go. The ambition at this step is to open at least some of the remaining businesses and premises that have been required to close, including personal care (such as hairdressers and beauty salons) hospitality (such as food service providers, pubs and accommodation), public places (such as places of worship) and leisure facilities (like cinemas). They should also meet the COVID-19 Secure guidelines."
It is clear that the restrictions in place are going to be staying with us a little while longer, and that to prevent the spread of infection or indeed a second surge, we must all remain diligent in things such as social distancing.
To this end, it seems sensible to start planning now for the return, so please keep a look-out for our emails with news of the PR "Return to Work" packs and resources we outlined in our update earlier.
It's imperative to note that the date above could change, should the rate of infection go up. The advice could also change, should we get further clarification from future announcements. Please do continue to remain alert to the common-sense measures we have all been practising. We promise to keep you updated with everything we can, and hope that this email has cleared up any questions you may have had.
As always, please don't hesitate to ask if we can assist you further, and if you would like to read the full document then click the link below.
Martyn, Olivia & All the team at PR x
11th May 2020 (am)
After the government’s announcement 10th May it is still unclear as to when we as Reflexologists will be able to get back into our treatment rooms. Here at Professional Reflexology we were hoping to have more of an idea time-wise for when we would all be able to return to work. However, we’d like to reassure all of our members we are doing everything we can to understand and clarify which sector and which area of lockdown lifting we might come under.
We are here to help
Reflexology is very hands-on and it’s probably going to be a while until we are back working face to face with clients!
We have started putting together "Return to Work" packs and resources so that rest assured when you do return it will be as safe as possible for both you and your clients. Please keep an eye on our emails and our social media pages for further information on this, as we hope to be rolling out some of these by next week. The packs will be available to members only via the member's area of the website and will have specific information based on your different premises and locations for work, as well as general information which will apply to all of us as Reflexologists. Some of you have commented about the fact that a return to work Covid-19 course may be helpful for you to be sure you're doing everything correctly when we are able to go back.
FREE Covid-19 Awareness Course
We have linked below a Free course from Skills for Health that we hope will be useful to you, and maybe put your mind at ease on your return. This is a fantastic string to add to your bow. It's a great idea, too, to let your clients know that you have taken part.https://www.skillsforhealth.org.uk/covid-19-course
Self Employed Income Support Scheme
Following on from the government announcement regarding support for self-employed workers, the HMRC portal has now been opened so that you can check your eligibility for the scheme and register so that you are in the system early. The link you need is added below.
Have your National Insurance Number and your Government Gateway number (UTR) handy. Your UTR is what you use to gain access when completing your self-assessment tax return. You will also need a passport or driving license to continue with the claim.
If you are eligible, complete the application, and payment may be made within 6 working days, sooner than expected which is a great bonus. Also, there seem to be a couple of glitches with the system, so if you do find that you arere turned down and aren't sure why, it's a good idea to give it another go.
22nd March 2020
Important Updated Advice To Reflexologists
Since the inception of Professional Reflexology, we cannot recall an occasion when we have not felt able to give firm advice to our members. Sadly this has been the case with Covid 19. We have been reluctant up until now to take a stance either way on whether you should be continuing to treat clients, as we felt that without an exact answer, it would not be fair to say either way.
As our members are aware, we have been in touch with local and national MP’s in order to confirm that their latest lists of closures include reflexologists.
However, although the government directive is yet to be confirmed, we as a professional body have decided to take a stance and advise all of our members, if you are continuing to treat, to cease doing this at the earliest opportunity.
We would ask you to understand that this is a completely unprecedented situation. One for which there is no handbook or protocol – we are navigating these unforeseen waters just as you are and wanted black and white answers on which to be able to act and advise. It’s come to the time where we’ve decided to take this stance, not because we’ve been told to but because we feel that things have gone too far.
Most members and reflexologists have already taken the decision to temporarily stop seeing clients – all of us here at PR have also ceased for the foreseeable future, too. We now suggest that you do the same.
Now is the time to be patient and kind. Nobody has ever known a situation like this however, we know that sticking together (from a distance!) looking at the positives, and using this time wisely is what we can all do.
There will be lots over the coming weeks hitting your inboxes, so please keep an eye on those. For now, stay safe, stay healthy and try to take stock of the important things in life. That’s exactly what we plan on doing.
21st March 2020
Our Advice For Reflexologists Updated!
Well, what a rollercoaster week it’s been! As you can imagine, since the announcement from the government yesterday evening we’ve been having lots of enquiries as to what this means for you and your business.
As a professional body, PR has always prided ourselves on being able to guide and advise on all situations, as well as take a stance for one way or another. This is the only time that we can remember where we actually are not able to advise you either way. Although the government have asked a number of different businesses to cease for the time being, we don’t believe that one-to-one Reflexology businesses fall into these categories.
That being said, if you are taking all the correct precautions and procedures outlined in our advice on the updates on this page below, then we believe it’s still your decision as to whether or not you continue treating.
Q: What cover applies to virus related claims?
A: The policy covers you against third party claims and allegations of negligently causing accidental bodily injury (which includes illness) in the course of your business. The onus will be on the claimant to prove you were negligent. Any claim will be individually judged by insurers and subject to the full policy terms and conditions.
We have been asked by some members for guidance in respect of their insurance. The PR member’s insurance is arranged by Balens, and we can only comment on the advice we have received from them.
This is to the effect that the policy covers you against 3rd party claims and allegations of negligently causing accidental bodily injury (which includes illness) in the course of your business. This means that the claimant would be required to prove that you were negligent.
We would suggest therefore that if you are planning to continue to treat your clients you should follow the advice published here (INSERT LINK) with regard to cleanliness and hygiene. It is important that you contact your client prior to an appointment to ensure that they have no symptoms of coronavirus. (Make sure that you tell your client what these symptoms are). Over the last week we have been additionally asking our clients to wash their hands and sanitise prior and post treatment. To be completely on the safe side as far as insurance is concerned you may want to ask a client to sign a declaration stating:
I am satisfied that the treatment area offered by (your name) is clean, and germfree as possible
I have been asked by (your name) to confirm that I have none of the symptoms of coronavirus described to me.
I have been asked and have complied with the request made by (your name) to wash my hands thoroughly prior to treatment, and again afterwards.
For those of you that have ceased treatments for the time being, the good news is we are using this time to put into practice many of the ideas we’ve had over the past few months. Please keep an eye out as we will be sending more emails in the coming weeks on how to feel productive and proactive within your business whilst you’re unable to do clients. The situation is what we make it, and if we’re positive we can come out of the other side of this more motivated than ever!
Best wishes and as always please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions. Oh, and remember that if you are a member, the PR Helpline is open Monday to Friday as usual (just log into your account to access the number).
18th March 2020
Coronavrius Social Media & Email Templates for Clients
Hi everyone! After our previous “Coronavirus advice” update yesterday, we have had a few people ask us for suggestions of what to send to clients via email or on social media regarding the situation.
We’ve decided to draft up two different statements for PR members to tweak yourselves – one for those of you continuing treating clients, and one for those of you that have decided to suspend treatments for the time being.
They are a good base for you to use as they are, or to alter them however you wish to make them sound like you! All you need to do to access them is log into your PR account and go to the “Member Downloads” page and they are at the top.
17th March 2020
Reflexology & Coronavirus - Our Advice For Reflexologists
As you are probably aware, the govenrment COBRA announcement last night was slightly ambiguous and not at all clear on guidelines for businesses like ours.
In light of this, it is not for us to advise whether or not you should still be treating your clients and for how long - that is in your hands - until we hear otherwise. What we can do however, is give you advice on your different options and how best to manage each of them. We’d like to point out that while pubs, clubs and social interaction has been advised against, your treatment room or clinic is a different matter. You are in control of your surroundings. Hairdressers, beauty salons and other salon / clinic based industries have not been told to cease trading. However, as pointed out, it’s in your hands and up to you how you decide to forge ahead.
If you are planning to continue treating (until the government says otherwise):
- It is important that you weigh up the risk factors of treating each individual client. You don’t want clients coming in that are unaware of the risks they could bring into your working environment.
- We would advise that you phone each client prior to their treatment to confirm that they and none of their family members have either of the two symptoms outlined (A high temperature or a new, continuous dry cough).
- Follow all of the guidelines for creating as safe as an environment for you and them, by following the advice on this page and the links below.
- You may find that some clients will cancel out of concern. If this is the case, it’s an idea to waive cancellation fees for the time being as a good-will gesture which will in turn encourage them to rebook when things have calmed down.
If you are ceasing to continue treating for the time being:
- Give your clients as much notice as possible if you plan on cancelling their treatments. Many will be extremely understanding, and as outlined above there will be many clients that plan on cancelling anyway.
- It’s an idea to put somewhere on your website or social media channels that this is what you plan on doing.
- If you’re temporarily ceasing treatments before we’ve officially been told to, remember that it may be a long time until you’re working again, as we do not know what is going to happen over the coming weeks.
- Make the most of the time that you’ve gained. We will be doing a blogpost on this shortly, however this is a great time to give your treatment room a spruce up (if you work from home), read those books you’ve been meaning to get around to, and listen to your favourite podcasts. There is positivity in everything, if you choose to look for it!
We understand that this is a difficult decision to make. However unless we are all told categorically to cease trading, we are unable to advise you on the best way to go.
It is important that you make that decision on your terms, for the health of your family, clients and business
None of us can tell what is going to happen over the coming weeks, however we want to assure you that we at PR are doing everything in our power to be able to answer any questions you may have. Oh, and remember that as a member you have our dedicated Reflexology Helpline so feel free to call us on that if you have any questions (just log into your PR account to access the Helpline number.)
Stay safe, and we will be updating you all as regularly as we can.
13th March 2020
Coronavirus: What can Reflexologists do?
Although the numbers of people who have contracted Clovid 19 from the coronavirus remain low in the United Kingdom, these are increasing daily. As Professional Reflexologists, I’m sure we are all aware of the importance of cleanliness and hygiene in our practices. However, it is sensible that we now look at those practices and put in place measures that could help us to contain the spread of infection.
The outbreak has prompted us to add a new clause to Section 3 of the Codes of Practice and Ethics:
‘A member who suspects that they may be suffering from a communicable condition shall not continue to treat clients until such time as this is shown not to be the case’.
Here are some suggestions, many of which you are probably already using, but are worth review.
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds and/or sanitize before and after a treatment. (By the way, we are told that if you wet your hands before applying soap or antiseptic handwash you will kill an extra 50% germs/bacteria).
- If you use a moisturiser after washing you are advised to wait for 3 minutes before applying.
- Allow a little extra time between appointments, and after treating a client, use antiseptic wipes on any surface touched by either yourself or a client, i.e. doorknobs, doorbell, toilet area, couch etc. in case you are unable to get these wipes locally, due to unnecessary panic buying, we have found some excellent ones online. You could also use a bleach solution for this purpose.
- Do not shake hands with clients; they will understand.
- You may choose to use surgical type gloves at the full treatment, please bear in mind when buying these that some clients may be allergic to latex.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth when your hands may not be clean.
- Contact your clients prior to treatment, and ask them if they are feeling unwell and if they have any of the symptoms associated with coronavirus. If your client is suffering any of these, delay their appointment by two weeks, and suggest that they self-isolate for the next seven days
- The same thing applies to you. If you are suffering any of these symptoms, then do not treat. Cancel your appointments for the next seven days, and self-isolate.
May sure that you, and your client, have easy access to tissues. Always cough or sneeze into a tissue, as the virus is thought to be spread in the droplets of a cough or sneeze. Tissues should be binned immediately, and it is sensible to wash your hands again, even if it is in the middle of a treatment.
The basic symptoms are:
- A high temperature
- A new, continuous dry cough.
Having the symptoms does not necessarily mean that you or your client have the condition. However, if we do develop these, we are advised that we should not go to a GP surgery, or a pharmacist or to hospital. Monitor the symptoms and if they worsen then in the UK ring 111 for further advice.
Hopefully, your client will pay you for your services, either by cash, cheque or credit/debit card. Make sure that you wash your hands thoroughly after handling cash, particularly. This may have gone through many hands prior to your client’s.
More information is available online, here are a couple of suggestions