Last month, we reported on an end to the ‘work from home’ instruction with effect from 19 July 2021. So, what steps are businesses now expected to take in order to keep people safe as they return to the workplace?
New Government guidance
Until now businesses have been expected to follow the ‘Working safely during coronavirus’ guidance first published in May 2020. However, given that we have now reached ‘Step 4’ of the Government’s roadmap, the guidance has been updated. There are now 6 new guides, each one covering one of the following types of workplace:
• Construction and other outdoor work
• Events and attractions
• Hotels and guest accommodation
• Offices, factories, and labs
• Restaurants, pubs, bars, nightclubs, and takeaway services
• Shops, branches, and close contact services
Whilst some may have hoped that ‘Step 4’ would mean that everything can just go ‘back to normal’, the reality is rather different. The new guidance anticipates that employers will adopt a very gradual and cautious migration toward greater normality. All businesses are expected to properly risk assess any changes to their practices and procedures, with staff being informed and consulted along the way. Social distancing, use of masks and good hand hygiene are all still important, as is a careful consideration of effective ventilation.
All employers need to familiarise themselves with this new guidance. Full copies of all 6 guides can be found here:
Need some extra help?
If you need any additional support from us as you plan for your staff to come back to work, please get in touch.