Yesterday evening the government published guidance for employers to help them get their businesses back up and running safely. The guidance was developed in consultation with 250 businesses, unions and industry leaders. Businesses that can comply with it, can display Covid-19 secure notices to reassure staff and public that they have followed the guidance. The guidance covers 8 different workplace settings which are allowed to be open.
5 key points are common to all workplaces:
- Work from home if you can. If you cannot and your workplace has not been told to close, you should go to work. Staff should speak to their employers about when their workplace will open.
- Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment, in consultation with workers or trade union. Employers with over 50 employees, if possible,should publish the results of their risk assessments on their website.
- Maintain 2 metres social distancing, wherever possible – staggering start times, creating one way walk-throughs, opening more entrances and exits or changing seating layouts in break rooms.
- Where people cannot be 2 metres apart, manage the transmission risk. Consider barriers in shared spaces, creating shift patterns or fixed teams minimising the number of people in contact with one another, or ensuring that colleagues are facing away from each other.
- Reinforcing cleaning processes. Clean more frequently, especially high contact areas like door handles and keyboards. Provide handwashing facilities or hand sanitisers at entry and exit points.
If all this is done, employers should display a Covid-19 Secure notice in the workplace visible to employees, customers and visitors.
The 5 key points above are common to all Covid-19 secure guidance. Specific guidance is also available for 8 types of workplace:
- Construction and outdoor work
- Factories, plants and warehouses
- Labs and research facilities
- Offices and contact centres
- Other people’s homes
- Restaurants offering takeaway or delivery
- Shops and branches
- Vehicles – people who work in or from a vehicle.
Like many of our clients, we are about to undertake this process ourselves. We will share what we learn and look forward to continuing to take care of our clients, from home, or in our Covid-19 secure workplace or theirs.