Government’s Covid-19 Strategy

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Updated 13th May 2020

The government has published OUR PLAN TO REBUILD:The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy, setting out its roadmap to bring the UK out of Covid-19 lockdown.

The proposals on work are set out and take effect from today. They state:-

“For the foreseeable future, workers should continue to work from home rather than their normal physical workplace, wherever possible.”

"This will help minimise the number of social contacts across the country and therefore keep transmissions as low as possible. All those who work are contributing taxes that help pay for the healthcare provision on which the UK relies.”

"People who are able to work at home make it possible for people who have to attend work places in person to do so while minimising the risk of overcrowding on transport and in public places.”

"All workers who cannot work from home should travel to work if their workplace is open. Sectors of the economy that are allowed to be open should be open, for example, this includes food production, construction, manufacturing, logistics, distribution and scientific research in laboratories. The only exceptions to this are those workplaces such as hospitality and non-essential retail which during this first step the Government is requiring to remain closed.”

“It remains the case that anyone who has symptoms, however mild, or is in a household where someone has symptoms, should not leave their house to go to work. Those people should self-isolate, as should those in their households.”

“As soon as practicable, workplaces should follow the new “COVID-19 Secure” guidelines…which will be published this week…”

Whilst we wait for the guidelines to be published its worthwhile giving due consideration to the following:

  • If working from home demonstrates and operates as business as usual then continue to do so.   Don’t rush back.
  • Reach out to employees and ask for their thoughts on returning to work. There will be those who will want more of a daily routine, and those that will feel more secure working from home.
  • Operate a ‘staggered approach’ whereby employees can return to the office over an agreed period. Alternating daily changes will prove risky and time consuming, so not recommended
  • Ensure that the office has a deep clean before reopening.
  • Carry out a risk assessment on the office and consider how you can continue with operating social distancing whilst in the workplace.

 Implement strict policies outlining employers and employees responsibilities such as but not limited to:

  • Antibac dispensers to be available for use on entering and exiting the premises.
  • Provide safety equipment/clothing such as face protection, gloves etc.
  • Where possible provide an internal and separate external gateway to enter and exit the building.
  • Limit the number of employees at any one time using breakout areas such as kitchens.
  • The sanitisation of white goods and work surfaces in the kitchen after each separate use.
  • All company equipment such as laptops computers keyboards mobile phones to be cleaned at the start and end of every day.
  • Reception desk areas to be screened in order to protect employees and visitors

Should you require specific advice on any question please do get in contact with Sally Phillips, the MD of Ward Williams HR Limited. Tel 01932 830664. Email sally.phillips@wardwilliams.co.uk.

Should you require advice on the wider business impact and the options available to you please get in contact with your usual Ward Williams advisors.

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