COVID-19 Return to Work Guidance

As the Government begins to set out a timeline of events to ease the lockdown restrictions we consider a number of ways in which have been suggested to help your businesses begin trading again.

Whilst it is going to be a long time before we see any resemblance to normality, positive steps are helping get the wheels in motion.

5 key questions to consider first

The following pointers should help you to form an initial plan for your particular business needs.

Carefully consider each step and fully document your plan by completing a risk assessment.

1. How do you anticipate your business will operate in the short, medium and longer term?
2. What are the key operations needed in the initial opening, and then operating phase?
3. How will you manage social distancing?
4. How will cleaning – initial and ongoing – be managed?
5. How will you manage general and respiratory hygiene in the workplace?

For employees these past few months life has been very different and some may feel uneasy about a return to work, so throughout the process communication is key. It will be vital to stay in regular contact and talk them through the processes that your business is putting in place prior to returning to work. Answer any questions that they may have – this will help to iron out any of their concerns.

In addition to your work force, it is best to stay in contact with clients, suppliers and contractors depending on your type of business. At this difficult time we must stay united and help each other through this where possible.

As a business, you may consider a phased return to work to help adhere to the social distancing rules. You may think about the following to help your business:

1. Can employees work a shift pattern or staggered working hours?
2. Could staff be arranged into different cohorts, so if contact is unavoidable, this happens between the same individuals?
3. Can certain employees work from home, if so stick to working from home where possible?
4. Can certain processes be modified to avoid contact between staff?

It is vital that Government guidelines are adhered to when arranging a return to work and that this is done safely and that organisation consider the health and wellbeing of their staff. Safety checks and measures need to be carefully thought out to reduce the risk of COVID-19.

The Government website is useful tool for business: