Coronavirus and what to expect from Onward

On July 19, the Government Roadmap out of lockdown moved to Step 4. Although legal restrictions are now mostly lifted, lots of guidance remains in place. Businesses and individuals are increasingly using this guidance to make their own decisions on things like facemasks and social distancing.

One upshot is that it can be harder for customers to know what to expect when using a service or visiting a business. In response, this page tells you what you can expect when accessing an Onward service or meeting our colleagues.

The most important thing to know is that we are here to help you. You can help us do this safely by working with Onward team members as we continue to follow Government guidance.

How we will be doing things for customers

We have used safe systems of working throughout the pandemic to protect customers and colleagues when you come into contact in homes or in the neighbourhood. This has worked really well, so we will be keeping it going after 19 July by continuing to apply the latest Government guidance.

Throughout the pandemic, we have delivered some services differently and done as much as we can by telephone, to minimise face to face contact and unnecessary travel. This will remain the case. We have found that our services have adapted well to this situation, so rest assured that we will do everything we can to help when you get in touch.

If an Onward team member is in your home, residential building or working inside in your neighbourhood, you can expect that they will wear appropriate PPE and maintain social distancing. Even if you feel this isn’t necessary, we need to treat everyone the same.

Help us to keep everyone safe

When our teams are helping you, in your neighbourhood or home, please help us do this safely by following social distancing and national guidance. This will keep you safe, our staff safe, and will help us to maintain your services as much as we possibly can.

We promise to do everything possible to deliver your service and keep you safe, so our staff may decline to deliver a service if they feel that all reasonable precautions aren’t being taken by customers.

Delivering repairs safely

Our established safe systems of working allow us to continue to provide a safe repair service for customers. We will continue prioritising emergency repairs, but customers may be asked to wait longer for routine repairs to be dealt with. Please consider this in advance of reporting a repair request.

As our suppliers adapt to lockdown, we are experiencing limitations on the availability of materials and resources. Our frontline teams are working hard to meet demand but some repairs may take a little longer than expected to complete. We will keep you informed if your repair is delayed or the appointment has to be changed.

The My Onward portal is the quickest and easiest way to report a new repair. You can also report a repair by telephone through the Contact Centre on 0300 555 0600. You can also view our Repairs Handbook, which provides further details on our repairs standards and responsibilities.

We will provide further updates as the situation evolves.

Feeling vulnerable? Contact us.

Onward is here to support vulnerable customers, as we have been throughout COVID.

People defined as clinically extremely vulnerable must stay at home as much as possible and keep all contact with others to a minimum. We know that this makes life hard in lots of different ways. We can help by giving you someone to talk to and helping you get everyday essentials like food and support services.

We continue to provide essential services for our vulnerable customers to ensure their health and wellbeing and to prevent isolation. When this brings us into contact with you, we will follow our tried and tested safe systems of working and use all appropriate PPE.

If you are feeling vulnerable, contact us. If it is money worries, you need help getting food or if you are just feeling lonely – call us and we will do everything we can to help.

Money troubles? Contact us.

We want you to be secure in your home, even if money becomes harder in the weeks ahead. No customer will be evicted as a result of hardship caused by coronavirus, where they are working with us to get their payments back on track.

Onward will work with any customer struggling to pay rent to make this manageable in the long term. We offer one-to-one advice and support on topics including access to benefits and managing household budgets.

If you would like to speak to someone about your money, our Financial Inclusion team is here to help. Please contact us.