Guidance for employers – returning to work

On 11 May, the Government released a 50 page document called “Our plan to rebuild: The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy” which states the next steps the country needs to take for us to start to slowly come out lockdown.

In his speech, Boris Johnson reiterated that these are small steps in order for us not to see a second wave of infection, and to keep the rate of transmission down.

The new guidance states: 

“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 nonessential retail which during this first step the Government is requiring to remain closed.”

To assist employers in understanding how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic, the Government has produced a guide to ensure workplaces remain safe and “Covid Secure.” There are 8 different guides covering different sectors and types of work, with information about what workplaces must do to ensure the safety of employees, including abiding by the 2m distance rule, staggering arrival and leaving times, and the use of protective equipment.

The guides also includes specific information about publishing a risk assessment that addresses the risks of Covid-19, which is now required by the vast majority of businesses.

Information correct as at 12 May 2020.