Lots of people are confused about the PM’s further update yesterday on how we start to come out of the lockdown period, which in any case is conditional on the R rate staying below 1 and infections and deaths continuing to fall. The message remains to work from home where you can, continue with social distancing, hand-washing etc and to stay alert. Where people cannot go to work due to childcare (whilst schools remain closed to the majority) employers should be understanding – if these employees are currently furloughed, I would suggest (at the moment) to continue with that arrangement where you can. Guidance has been published with the steps to follow.
There is also a poster to display to confirm you have followed the 5-steps:
- Work from home, where possible – you should take reasonable steps to help this happen
- Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment and publish results
- Maintain 2 metre distance where possible,
- Manage transmission risk keeping 2 metres apart is not possible
- Reinforce cleaning processes
The HSE has updated guidance on working safely, including managing the risk and gives guidance on PPE and face masks. The COVID-19 Guidance offers in-depth industry-specific guidance. Each provides a link to guidance in carrying out a risk assessment, which should then be published.
Drivers should have access to welfare facilities a the premises they visit as part of their work. In order to reduce the risk of infection, some businesses with regular deliveries e.g. hauliers, have provided temporary facilities outside of their main buildings.
Still on driving, the EU Drivers’ Hours Regs were relaxed from March to 16 April for deliveries of food, pharmaceuticals and essential items to supermarkets. This was withdrawn on 16th April 2020. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/temporary-relaxation-of-the-enforcement-of-eu-drivers-hours-rules
You should also note that there are some requirements to report Covid-19 under RIDDOR.
Different rules may apply in Scotland.
Your employees will naturally be concerned about returning to work, I would take each on a case by case basis, listen to concerns and work together to come up with a way forward. For anything that cannot be resolved, please do give me a call to discuss.