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Coronavirus - return to work

Susie MunroEditor's message: The message across the UK is that employees should work from home wherever possible. However, in England at least, there are moves to lift the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown restrictions. The Prime Minister has said that anyone who cannot work from home should be actively encouraged to go to work.

As public health is a devolved matter, HR in organisations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales should follow the guidance and comply with the restrictions that apply to your location.

HR needs to plan for a safe return to the workplace, whether employees are being asked to return now or further down the line. The UK Government’s “COVID-19 secure” guidelines set out a process for employers to follow, based around risk assessment, social distancing measures and actions to mitigate the risk of coronavirus transmission.

HR will be required to manage the needs of employees with particular circumstances that make it difficult or impossible for them to return to work, such as health concerns, childcare or transport issues. Applying a blanket approach to all employees will not be appropriate.

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Susie Munro, senior employment law editor

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