How to manage returning to work as the coronavirus lockdown is lifted
Author: Susie Munro
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- Consider allowing employees to work from home if they can.
- If bringing employees off furlough, give them the appropriate notice of the return to work.
- Consult the government guidance relevant to your type of workplace and location in the UK.
- Carry out a risk assessment for each workplace.
- Put in place social distancing measures and consider appropriate mitigating actions to reduce the risk as far as reasonably practicable.
- Understand the difference between PPE and face coverings and decide what, if any, measures are necessary for your workplace.
- Support employees to avoid 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 new measures and processes in place.
- Be particularly cautious about the timing of a return to the workplace for employees with underlying health conditions, those who are over age 70 and those who are pregnant.
- Consider how to accommodate employees who have childcare responsibilities that prevent them returning to work.
- 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.