Businesses that closed or introduced work from home policies as a result of the Corona Virus are beginning to return to their workplaces.
As an employer, you are required to follow social distancing guidelines and implement enhanced hygiene measures in your workplace.
If you do not, you could put your employees and customers at risk. This may lead to fines, restrictions, potential prosecution or other enforcement measures against you.
What do you need to do?
Firstly, check if your business can reopen https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close-guidance
If permitted, you need to conduct a risk assessment and implement appropriate safe working polices in your workplace.
What guidance should be followed?
There have been numerous ‘return to work’ guides published by insurers, trade associations and, of course, the government.
It’s important to note every business, workplace and sector is different. Guidance will vary to reflect this.
Why should you base your policy on Government guidance?
It’s likely to be the standard by which enforcement authorities (Fire, HSE, Local Authority etc) will assess a business, so done correctly should protect businesses from prosecution or other enforcement measures.
The government page is well communicated and updated regularly, so you know the information you are following is up-to-date and aligned with wider government advice.
The government have written 8 guides (Based on 5 main steps) which cover a range of different types of work. Many businesses operate more than one type of workplace, such as an office, factory and fleet of vehicles. Employers may need to use more than one of these guides as you think through what you need to do to keep people safe.
Useful Government Pages:
Government ‘Return to Work’ Portal Page:
Working safely during COVID-19 in offices and contact centres: