Yesterday the Prime Minister announced new measures to help combat the rise of COVID-19. He asked office workers “to work from home if they can” and, where homeworking is not possible, such as construction or retail, he said people should continue to attend their workplaces. In answer to a question he added:

“Where people must go into work for their job, their mental health, their wellbeing or whatever it happens to be, then of course they should do so. What we are saying is that they should work from home if they can.”

The government has now published official guidance

This states:

Where an employer, in consultation with their employee, judges an employee can carry out their normal duties from home they should do so.

Many of our customers are in the process of planning a COVID-19 secure workplace. For those who need their team in the workplace these plans can and should continue. In assessing who needs to be in the workplace and who can work from home, organisations should consult with their employees taking into account:

  • The requirements of the business for the work to be carried out in the workplace
  • The impact on the business of work being done from home
  • The impact on the mental health and well-being of employees
  • The practical steps that can be put in place to enable employees to work from home

Our guidance is that, once again, working from home is the preferred option to help control the spread of the virus. If staff need to return to work, then you should ensure that you have taken the necessary steps recommended by the Government. Visit our website for more information on the steps you must take when employees are returning to work

If you would like to discuss how the recent government updates may impact your business from a health and safety perspective, get in touch with our team of H&S experts today or contact Chamber member Sandhya Iyer, HR Dept