The government recently published guides to ensure workplaces are kept safe. There are 8 guides covering different types of work and employers may need to use more than one the guides if they operate more than one type of workplace.
The guides are available via the following link:
An announcement to the guidance which provides an introduction and overview to the guidance is available via the following link:
Below is a summary of the some of the key points from the guidance:
- All reasonable steps should be taken to help people work from home;
- People should go to work if they can’t work from home and their workplace has not been told to close;
- Employers will need to carry out COVID-19 risk assessments.
- Employers with less than 5 employees do not need to complete written risk assessments;
- Employers should publish the results their risk assessments on their website and the government expects all businesses with more than 50 employees to do this;
- 2 metre social distancing should be maintained wherever possible and the guidance includes suggestions on how to enable this;
- Where 2 metre social distancing cannot be maintained, employers should take extra measures to manage the transmission risk;
- Cleaning processes should be reinforced;
- Extra measures should be put in place to protect clinically vulnerable (but not extremely clinically vulnerable) workers who cannot work from home, including offering them the safest available site roles. It appears that extremely clinically vulnerable workers should only work from home if possible; and
- The guidance includes a downloadable notice that businesses should display to show people they have followed the guidance.
The guidance also requires employers to complete risk assessments in consultation their workers or trade unions. It states that where there is no existing health and safety representative, a representative should be chosen by workers (employers cannot decide who the representative is).
Our employment law team are offering free consultations to employers and employees on employment law issues in relation to COVID-19.