How to respond where an employee is reluctant to return to the workplace
Author: Darren Newman
Click on any of the hyperlinks to go to more detailed guidance below.
- Be aware of current government guidance in the relevant part of the UK.
- Understand the contractual position on where employees can be required to work.
- Take all necessary steps to make the workplace safe.
- Listen to employees' individual concerns about returning to the workplace and consider how they can be addressed.
- Consider reasonable adjustments where an employee is clinically vulnerable from coronavirus.
- Where a pregnant employee is anxious about returning, consider whether it is genuinely necessary for them to do so.
- Where an employee requests to work from home because of childcare responsibilities, ensure that any refusal is objectively justifiable.
- Take into account how effectively employees have been performing while working from home.
- If the employee makes a flexible working request, deal with this in a reasonable manner and be aware that there are limited grounds for refusing a request.
- Consider hybrid working if this has not been done already.
- Consider redeploying an employee who is unable to return to work but who cannot effectively work at home.
- Where you have considered the employee's situation and still believe that it is right to ask them to return to the workplace, inform them that a failure to return could result in disciplinary action.
- Take disciplinary action where appropriate.