How to manage returning to the workplace as coronavirus restrictions are lifted
Author: Susie Munro
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- Be aware of any restrictions remaining in place in the part of the UK where your business is located.
- Continue to support employees to work from home if they can, while introducing a gradual return to the workplace for some or all employees.
- If bringing employees off furlough, give them the appropriate notice of the return to work.
- If considering introducing hybrid working, consult employees before making any decision.
- Consult the government guidance relevant to your type of workplace and location in the UK.
- Carry out a risk assessment for each workplace.
- Consider what social distancing measures and other mitigating actions are required to reduce the risk as far as reasonably practicable.
- Consider whether to ask employees to wear face coverings even if this is no longer a legal requirement.
- Support employees to avoid busy periods if using public transport when travelling to and from work.
- Maintain support for employees' wellbeing and be aware of the need to protect mental health as well as physical safety.
- Plan how to communicate to all employees about the return to the workplace and the measures and processes in place.
- Be particularly cautious about the timing of a return to the workplace for employees with underlying health conditions or other risk factors.
- If an employee refuses to return to work, investigate the reasons and try to manage their concerns.
- Understand the data protection and privacy implications if considering a programme of testing or health monitoring.
- Put in place contingency plans for the possibility of a further period of lockdown.