2020 has been a tumultuous year for the British economy. Businesses up and down the UK have had to adapt to an entirely new way of working and to contend with the risk that the novel coronavirus presents. They’ve also had to deal with a raft of guidelines and laws that have come into force with the various tiered lockdowns.
Follow and Share the Government Guidelines
The government have published fairly extensive guidelines, many of which might help to clear up misunderstandings amongst your workforces. Don’t try to rely on common sense or guesswork; just take a look at the rules wherever a point of confusion arises and encourage your workers to do the same thing.
Working from Home
Among the foremost directives of the government has been to work from home wherever possible. The greater the proportion of your workforce that can work from home, the lower the risk will be in your workplace. Provide workers with the technological support they need to do their job effectively from home and set up a rota so that home-workers who do have to come into the office aren’t all coming in at the same time.
Get Legal Advice
If you’re unsure of what steps need to be taken in your circumstances, or you’re worried about a particular kind of risk, then it’s only sensible to seek professional advice. Employment law solicitors can help you to identify what’s required of you, and thereby minimise the risk to which you’re exposed.
The more personal protective equipment you’re using in your workplace, by and large, the better. Facemasks should be mandatory wherever employees are coming withing two metres of one another. Screens should be set up at every public-facing till.
It is vital that employers take sanitation seriously. Regular cleaning can not only reduce the risk of contagion but provide employees with the confidence they need to feel safe in work. Sanitizer bottles can be provided.
What about Outside of Work?
You aren’t responsible for what employees get up to when they’re outside of work, right? Actually, the answer is that you are – since if staff expose themselves to risk outside of work, they will inevitably bring that risk into work with them, too. According to Alex Bearman, a partner at Russell Cooke: “employers not only can but arguably should take disciplinary action against employees who break Covid safety rules outside of the workplace.”