As we begin to ease out of lockdown, you will be considering making plans for the reopening of your business if you haven’t done so already. CCRS have created the following resources and guidance to help you through this process.
Above all, continue to refer to Government advice and guidelines. The end of lockdown will not mean the end of Covid-19 so it is vital we all work within the constraints set out by the Government. The guidance is continually changing so always make sure you are keeping up to date with the latest advice.
Who Should be Returning to Work?
As many businesses across the UK begin to reopen, it is important for organisations to know which of their employees should be returning.
- Only employees for whom it is essential to be on the premises should physically return to work. Employees who can continue to work from home should do so.
- Employers should help employees working from home feel connected to the rest of the workforce, especially if most of their colleagues are on-site.
- Make accommodations for employees who may be at risk for contracting Covid-19. This may include altering their current role for optimal safety.
- Remind your employees that they should not come to work if they, or anyone in their household, have exhibited signs of Covid-19.
- Be mindful of equality and the needs of specific groups or individuals. For example, employers have responsibilities towards disabled workers and new and expectant mothers.
Employee Guidance for Using Face Coverings
- Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water or use hand sanitiser before wearing or removing a face covering.
- Avoid touching their face or face covering to limit the risk of contamination
- Change their face covering if it becomes damp or they have touched it
- If face coverings are washable, do so in line with the manufacturer’s instructions. If not, dispose of them properly
- The benefits and effects of face coverings may be limited, so they should not be used as a substitute for other ways of managing risk (i.e. hand washing).
One of the most noticeable changes post-lockdown will be how employees commute. Employers should continue to demonstrate their willingness to be flexible to support employees. Below explores how commute options may change and ways that employers can support employees commuting post-lockdown.
- Public Transport – Employees who rely on public transport for their commute may be worried about contracting COVID-19. As a result, keep in mind that employees may prefer to travel at off-peak times or take a less busy route to reduce the number of changes.
- Vehicles – Discourage carpooling with co-workers or others not living in the employee’s household. For employees who rely on carpooling or other formal ride-sharing services to get to the workplace, encourage them to ask drivers about their cleaning procedures, and practise social distancing and good hygiene (e.g. wash hands, use hand sanitiser and avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth).
- Walking, Cycling & other Transport – For employees who live close to the workplace, they may opt to walk, or ride a bicycle or e-scooter as an alternative. However, these may be impractical modes of transport due to local climate or geography. Consider understanding your employees’ locations and transport needs as you’re working on a return-to-work plan and outlining commuting benefits. Employees may change how they were getting to work before COVID-19.
- Other Considerations – To limit employees’ exposure to many other commuters, employers could offer parking subsidies or shuttle buses. If your company already has a remote work program in place, consider extending that for those who can get their work done from home—or allowing employees to work on-site and also remotely. Consider offering flexible hours to accommodate personal responsibilities that are a result of the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g., caring for children or other family members). By standardising a mix of on-site and off-site remote work, employees could come into the workplace when it’s necessary for meetings and stay at home when it’s not. If it is essential to have everyone back in the workplace, consider staggering schedules so that employees do not have to travel during peak times.
These useful posters can be downloaded and printed for your business premises
If you need any further advice or guidance around the content of this article or your insurance products please contact CCRS. We are happy to help.