Earlier this week the government released 8 guidance documents regarding health and safety in the workplace. The guides are designed to help employers minimise the risk of infection as many now look to reopen their premises.
Whilst each document provides guidance for a specific workplace, below is a summary of the steps all employers are required to take:
1. Conduct a COVID-19 risk assessment.
2. Consult with a health and safety representative nominated by a recognised trade union, or with an elected employee rep.
3. Share the completed risk assessment with all staff, if you have over 50 employees then you are expected to publish the assessment on your website.
4. Display a notice prominently throughout your workplace to demonstrate your compliance – there is a downloadable notice in every guidance document.
5. Maintain social distancing wherever possible. If 2m distance cannot be maintained then you must implement measures to minimise contact such as working back-to-back, introducing barriers between workstations, or implementing a one-way flow through the workplace.
6. Intensify cleaning arrangements and provide handwashing facilities or hand sanitizer throughout the workplace, particularly in high contact areas such as door knobs and hand rails.
We know that many employers will need to bring some employees off Furlough Leave, in order to do so you should notify staff in advance and outline the following:
1. The hours they will be required to work;
2. If they’re returning on reduced hours, the affect this will have on their pay;
3. The results of any risk assessment and the measures being taken to protect their health; and
4. That their return to work is subject to government guidance, as such it may be necessary to furlough them again in the future.
You can access the government’s full workplace guides here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19
If you have any questions about ending furlough leave, bringing your staff back to work or any other employment law issue please contact us.