I think like the rest of the nation, you are as confused as us when it comes to Boris’s #COVID19 update this past weekend.
We have decided to try and give a roundup of what information was released for businesses and what you can best do if you are planning on returning back to the workplace. Here is an overview of the GOV.uk announcement on the 10/5 and their 50-page report which can be found here:
and 8 business page report which can be found here:
For business owners and employees, we took the time to summarise this info to help you get a better understanding of how to safely return to the workplace.
The 8-page document stressed that for most workers there was no need for additional protective equipment but instead stressed the importance in redesigning workspaces to abide by social distancing guidance, the importance of there being a robust cleaning process and to carry out a thorough COVID19 risk assessment of all aspects of each employee’s role.
The guidance suggests:
The government guidance is vague to say the very least, it is important that if you are thinking of going back into work or reopening your business that you ensure to have the due diligence to protect yourself and those around you.
Chief Executive of CIPD said, “Business owners must balance their desire for getting their business up and running again with the safeguarding of their people’s health and wellbeing. Government guidance and health and safety will only go so far; businesses must think about what is needed for their own organisation and the specific needs of their people.”
So what determines the ability to work from home? The guidance so far has left this question open for interpretation. What if you are suffering from mental health issues due to COVID19 or have young children that need caring for?
We have outlined below the guidance for different sectors and whether or not you should or should not work from home:
Construction & Outdoor Work
Based on guidance employees should return to work. Protective measures like staggering arrival times, provide multiple entrances to work construction sites, having fixed teams, allocating a single task for workers. Where social distancing is not possible workers should work back to back or side by side.
Factories, plants & warehouses
Based on guidance employees should return to work. Protective measures like staggered arrivals, fixed teams, reduced job & tool rotation, staggered break times and where possible space out employees whilst on the work floor.
Labs & research facilities
Protective measures like adjusting workspaces to help aid social distancing, limiting the number of employees in labs to help reduce ‘high touch’ items. In areas where there is a risk of airborne particles, employees should ensure access to air handling and filtering systems.
Office & contact centres
Based on guidance employees should return to work. Protective measures should be put into place like introducing a one-way system, moving workstations avoid using hot seeking. If workstations cannot be separated, screens should be put into place and should be thoroughly cleaned between use. Meetings should be attended only when absolutely necessary.
Restaurants offering takeaway or delivery
Based on guidance employees should return to work. Kitchen access should be limited to as few as possible, including during breaks. Handover points when food is given to staff should also be minimized
Shops and branches
Based on guidance employees should return to work. Shops should restrict the number of customers that enter the store at once to help practise social distancing. Employers should consider limiting the customer services which cannot be offered safely. All payments should be made contactless.
Guidance when working in vehicles. Vehicles should be cleaned regularly and have a sufficient amount of cleaning products. If there is more than one person working in a vehicle they should remain as one fixed team and where possible be separated by screens. All contact should be kept to a minimum.
If you would like any further guidance please contact us:
T: 0844 800 5932