Yesterday, the Government released guidance for a range of employers and workplace scenarios on how to restart their businesses after lockdown while ensuring employees and customers remain as safe as possible.

A host of recent announcements confirms that Government is preparing employers and employees for a gradual return to work – for more information please refer to

 

  1. Introduction
  • The Guides cover a range of different workplace settings, from outdoor work to factories and offices, and businesses operating a range of different types are advised to use as many of the guides as they need.
  • The guidance follows the Prime Minister’s statement on Sunday that those who cannot work from home should be “actively encouraged” to go to work in England – although advice is different in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  • Those who can work from home are still advised to do so under the new directions, which apply to businesses currently open and organisations that may be part of a “phased re-opening” from June 1.

 

  1. What Is Covered?
  • Several common themes run through each piece of guidance, including
    • the need to maintain social distancing of two metres where possible;
    • cleaning more frequently (see below);
    • carrying out coronavirus risk assessments to see what measures are needed;
  • Organisations of all sizes will be subject to ‘spot inspections’ to check they are keeping employees safe, and potential fines if they are not;
  • Workplaces with more than 50 employees are expected to publish the results of coronavirus risk assessments;
  • Office-based workplaces are asked to
    • consider staggering arrival, break and departure times to reduce crowding;
    • installing one-way systems, screens, barriers or floor tape to maintain social distancing; and
    • to avoid hot desking.
  • The guidance recommends
    • additional cleaning processes for “high-contact” objects like handles and keyboards;
    • employers to provide hand washing and sanitisers at entry or exit points;
  • Wearing a face covering in an enclosed space such as an office remains optional and is not required by law.

 

  1. The Guides – Who For & How Can I Access Them?

The guides break down Government advice into the following sectors:

Barrons has put together a helpful guide to running your business during the coronavirus crisis.