To go back, or not to go back. What should you do before reopening?
A survey conducted by the BBC with 50 of the largest UK employers found that none had plans to return all staff to the office any time soon.
The findings show that larger city-based employers are not yet ready to reopen fully, not only due to the practicalities of accommodating staff whilst maintaining social distancing, but also because they don’t wish to force staff to risk their health travelling on public transport.
Out of the 50 respondents, 24 had no plans to return staff to the office whilst 20 had opened their offices but only for those unable to work from home. Some other companies were giving staff the option to return whilst not pushing them either way.
To reopen? The choice is yours to make based on your assessment of risk, operational needs and ability to follow the guidelines.
If you do return to the workplace (whether fully or partially) there are five steps to follow:
- carry out a coronavirus risk assessment and share it with your staff
- implement cleaning, handwashing, and hygiene procedures
- take all reasonable steps to help employees work safely (including those working at home)
- take all reasonable steps to maintain a two-metre distance; and
- ensure that where this is not possible, you achieve at least one-metre distance and that all the mitigating actions possible are taken to manage the risk.
When you have completed your risk assessment and got your plan in place, you will need to communicate it to your employees. It’s good practice to also display a COVID-Secure Notice in your premises and screen visitors before they enter the building.