A Salisbury-based business has confirmed that a number of employees will not be able to work from home during the Covid-19 crisis.

SIPP provider James Hay Partnership, which employs around 650 people, has responded to the coronavirus outbreak by closing its office in London and allowing "most" of its staff to work from home.

However, an employee based at the company's operation centre in St Paul's Road, Salisbury, has told the Journal that dozens of workers on the site are still required to work from the office despite official Government instructions.

This has been confirmed by the firm, which revealed that while a group of workers will be able to operate from home "from tomorrow", "a small number of roles will still be needed in our Salisbury office".

A spokesperson from James Hay Partnership said: "As a pensions administration company we support nearly 60,000 customers, many of whom are elderly and/or vulnerable, and reliant upon us for their private retirement income, something that during these troubling times is more essential than ever. We therefore believe we’re providing an essential infrastructure service within the UK financial services sector, as defined by the Government.

"We’ve arranged for most of our 650 colleagues to work from home. This has been a gradual process over the past two weeks, equipping them with both the technology and processes to be able to adequately work remotely, and be supported. Changes are being made today that will enable another group to be home-based from tomorrow.

"However, a small number of roles will still be needed in our Salisbury office in order to maintain some of our critical processes – processes that can only be performed from the office that enable us to safely and securely ensure our customers receive their money.

"We’re following every possible safety precaution, including weekly deep-cleans of the office, enforcing social-distancing between workstations and in communal areas, helping colleagues with their physical and mental wellbeing, as well as encouraging them to practice good personal hygiene.

"We’re keeping communication high; sharing updates and information on the evolving situation on our intranet, via emails and through managers, as well as encouraging colleagues to keep in touch with each other and help each other out during these unprecedented times."