London 100-branch estate agency Dexters has hit back at ‘unfair’ criticism that it asked its staff to continue coming into work after the government made its initial lock-down announcement.
But the company, which says it sent home 95% of staff within 48 hours of the Prime Minister’s request five days ago that people should work from home ‘where possible’, has also revealed that a core of 70 or so staff are still commuting to work at two non-high street hubs to deal with the company’s huge lettings portfolio.
“Jeff Doble, its Chairman, says: “Dexters has been the subject of misinformation started on social media which has ended up with wider reporting, resulting in deeply unfair allegations.
“We are a responsible business and a respected firm of Chartered Surveyors and Dexters has followed Government Covid-19 guidelines to the absolute letter.”
Doble also says some staff are being asked to assist with people’s moves and provide a keyholder service for properties in their local areas, where necessary.
Staff at the two hubs are all senior directors or people available to assist, with none are from high-risk health groups. They either travel off peak on public transport or in the safety of cars.
They are dealing mostly with property management issues and enquiries from its 60,000 tenants and are working at desks at least two metres from each other and following sanitisation procedures.
Dexters is also keen to highlight its charitable work via the company’s dedicated charity committee, which this year is to switch its fund raising effort to support NHS staff.
The firm has also created a special hardship fund to help any staff having financial difficulties.
Jeff Doble says: “I am very proud of my colleagues who have supported our customers in completing over 400 pre-arranged house moves in the days following the lock down announcement, enabling these households to now be in safe self isolation; whilst we also completely shut down within 48 hours.”