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21
Sep 21

Posted by
Jennifer Patton

Annual Leave Post Covid

With the pandemic, some employees will have been on furlough meaning they are not working. However, it is important for employers to note that employees who were or are on furlough still accrue annual leave. This is because the contract of employment continues during this period. Employees are permitted to take annual leave while on furlough, without their furlough period coming to an end. If they choose to do so, the organisation will need to top up their pay to 100% of their normal wages if they are receiving reduced pay while on furlough.

Employers may wish to require employees to take annual leave during furlough, for example to avoid a build-up of leave that employees will need to take when they are back at work. Managers should be aware of the company’s approach to annual leave for the period of furlough before making any decisions.

Standard employment law provisions state that employers can require employees to take annual leave as long as they give twice as many days’ notice as the period of leave the employee is required to take. For example, if the employer requires the employee to take two week's annual leave at a certain time, the employer must therefore give the employee at least four weeks' advance notice (or what is outlined in the contract of employment).

As employees return to the workplace from furlough, managers may be in a situation where a number of employees will ask to take annual leave at the same time, particularly when they have leave to take before the end of the leave year. Where possible managers should allow the leave however, they need to ensure business continuity.

Interestingly new research by Acas has found that around 4 in 10 British employees (39%) have taken less paid time off work during the pandemic compared to before it started.

The normal rules on carrying over annual leave have been modified under reg.13 of the Working Time Regulations 1998 to allow workers to carry over up to four weeks' annual leave into the next two holiday years, where it has not been feasible for them to take it as a result of the effects of coronavirus which applies to all employees.

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Redundancy in the UK: A Guide to Avoiding Unfair Selection

New Self-Isolation Rules: What the Employer Needs to Know

Posted in Annual Leave, Coronavirus

16
Sep 21

Posted by
Jennifer Patton

Redundancy in the UK: A Guide to Avoiding Unfair Selection

As you all know the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has now entered its final month and will draw to a close on the 30th of September 2021. With this scheme coming to an end companies are now unfortunately faced with the possibility of redundancies having to be considered. The number of redundancies in the UK has accelerated at the fastest pace since the financial crisis. According to ACAS, redundancy related calls to their helpline have increased by over 160% compared to 2019.

If redundancies must occur then we see the following steps should be adhered to:

Collective Consultation

If an employer is proposing to make 20 or more employees redundant at one establishment within 90 days, collective consultation will be required with trade union or employee representatives.

For employers who collective redundancy applies to and who wish to make redundant by the end of the furlough scheme, they would have needed to commence their collective redundancy consultation by the 31st of August 2021.

Non-Collective Redundancy

If collective redundancy does not apply and your redundancies are on an individual level this is non-collective redundancy which is less than 20. In this case;

  • You should aim to avoid compulsory redundancies through: voluntary redundancies, agreed short-time working or other flexible staffing arrangements.
  • You should also carry out a consultation with every employee individually. The consultation must be meaningful and your plans must not be finalised at this stage.

Next is selecting staff for redundancy. Employers should use fair and objective criteria. Ideally, all employees at risk of redundancy should be put in a selection pool and assessed upon criteria such as: Standard of work, experience / qualifications and disciplinary record. Selecting those who have been on furlough over other employees may not necessarily be fair – these employees may have been parents with childcare issues or individuals with disabilities, so there could be a risk of a direct or indirect discrimination claim.

Notice of Termination

Once you have selected staff for redundancy, you need to give employees notice of their redundancy. The statutory redundancy notice periods are: 

  • At least one week’s notice if employed between one month and 2 years 
  • One week’s notice for each year if employed between 2 and 12 years 
  • 12 weeks’ notice if employed for 12 years or more. 

It is always advisable to check your contracts of employment as the contractual notice agreed may differ to statutory notice. Where contractual notice is greater than statutory notice, contractual notice will apply. However, where the contractual notice is less than statutory notice, statutory notice will apply. 

Statutory notice pay is protected. If the notice in the contract is the same or less than the applicable statutory notice, 100% of the employee’s normal pay should be paid during the notice period.

However, things are slightly different where contractual notice is greater than the statutory notice period. If contractual notice is greater, by at least 1 week, an employee should receive their normal full pay as long as they are working. If they are not working, they should receive what they would have normally been paid for that absence.

So, if you have an employee who is out of work due to furlough and being paid at 80%, and this employee’s contractual notice is greater than statutory notice, they may be paid at 80% for their notice period. For this reason, it is extremely important to always check the contract of employment.

Redundancy Payments

An individual is entitled to statutory redundancy pay if they are an employee and have been working for the employer for 2 years or more.

  • One week’s pay for each full year they have worked when 22 or older, but under 41 years old.
  • Half a week’s pay for each full year they have worked under 22 years old.
  • One and half week’s pay for each full year they have worked when 41 years old or older.

Redundancy pay is capped with a length of service being 20 years. For employees made redundant on or after 6 April 2021, a weeks’ pay is capped at £544, so the maximum statutory redundancy they can receive being £16,320.

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Posted in Contract of employment, Dismissals, Employee Contracts

18
Aug 21

Posted by
Jennifer Patton

New Self-Isolation Rules: What the Employer Needs to Know

August 16th 2021 marks a landmark moment in the self-isolation rules implemented to help manage the coronavirus pandemic in England. As of this date, close contacts of someone who has tested positive for coronavirus will not have to automatically self-isolate for 10 days, provided they are fully vaccinated or are aged under 18 years 6 months. This is a huge development for employers who have had to manage the impact of significant numbers of employees being identified as close contacts resulting in significant staff shortages and often severe disruption to the business.

Here is an insight into what the new self-isolation rules mean for employers:

What self-isolation obligations now apply if an employee tests positive?

There has been no change to the self-isolation obligations for employees who test positive. They are required to self-isolate for 10 full days after the date their symptoms first started, or from the date of their positive PCR test, whichever is earlier.

What self-isolation obligations apply if an employee displays COVID symptoms?

Employees who display any COVID symptoms should immediately go home, arrange to take a PCR test and self-isolate while they await the results. ‘Symptoms’ of coronavirus according to the NHS are deemed to be (1) a new continuous cough; (2) a high temperature; or (3) loss of taste or smell.

Do employees have to inform their employer if: (1) they have been contacted by NHS Test & Trace; and/or (2) if they are alerted by the NHS COVID-19 App that they are a close contact of a positive case?

Employees are only legally obliged to notify their employer if NHS Test & Trace informs them that they are required to self-isolate. From 16 August 2021, there will be circumstances where NHS Test & Trace is in touch with an employee but it is then identified that the employee is exempt from self-isolation due to their vaccination status. In these circumstances, employees are not required to notify their employer.

How can employers determine an employee’s vaccination status?

The new rules place the spotlight on an employee’s vaccination status and raise the question of what an employer which is where both employment law and data privacy considerations come into play. Employers must be aware that health data is highly protected as special category data.

The issue is likely to come to the fore in respect of employees who choose to notify the employer that they have been identified as a close contact, or there is a positive workplace case where the employer needs to identify who should self-isolate as a close contact. Here, the employer will be unable to confirm/identify who needs to self-isolate without knowing individual employees’ vaccination status.

Employers should only obtain details of employees’ vaccination status when that data is required to manage specific self-isolation requirements, it may be possible for employers to point to a lawful basis for processing that data in order to determine who is required to self-isolate. The data must be processed in accordance with the data protection principles. 

Related Articles:

- Let's Get Topical - The Vaccine Policy

- Care Home Workers & Mandatory Vaccinations: The New Regulations

 

Posted in Coronavirus

6
Aug 21

Posted by
Jennifer Patton

End of UK Lockdown: Employees Rejoice While Employers Wonder, ‘What Does Workplace Safety now look like?’

On the 22nd of February 2021, the UK Government published its original "Roadmap out of Lockdown" for England, which was initially due to see a "cautious but irreversible" lifting of all legal limits on social contact by the 21st of June 2021. England's Roadmap out of lockdown was divided into four key steps, each step triggered various restrictions being eased subject to the prevailing data on COVID-19 available at the time.

As of the 19th of July 2021, the UK Government has updated its guidance on workplace safety as England moved to step 4 of its roadmap which resulted in the lifting of most covid-19 restrictions. The previous 14 guides to working safely previously distributed have now been replaced by six new sector specific guidelines. Guidance on social distancing, working from home and reduced occupancy has now been dropped and replaced with six priority actions:

  1. Risk Assessment: There is still a requirement to complete a COVID-19 health and safety risk assessment and to keep this updated. Given that a significant amount of time has elapsed since many businesses and employers first implemented a COVID-19 specific risk assessment, existing risk assessments may need a substantial update.
  2. Adequate Ventilation: It is still being emphasised that providing adequate ventilation is key to limiting the spread of the virus. This can either be natural ventilation or mechanical, such as fans and ducts or a combination of both.
  3. Cleaning: Cleaning more frequently still remains a priority, therefore employers should continue to ask members of staff and members of the public to use hand sanitiser to clean their hands regularly.
  4. Face Coverings: While legal requirements around face coverings have been removed, it is still expected that face coverings will be worn in crowded and enclosed spaces and that businesses should consider the use of face coverings, particularly in indoor areas where they may not come into contact with people they do not normally meet. 
  5. Self-Isolation: Employers and businesses should still turn away people with COVID-19 symptoms and respect requirements to self-isolate. 
  6. Communication: Communicating requirements and training also remain important as does making sure that risk mitigation measures relating to workers who are particularly vulnerable are maintained. 

Statements relating to employees working from home is notably absent from the above six priority actions. The government sate employers should continue to support employees working from home where possible however the government expects and recommends a gradual return to the workplace over the coming months.

Equally, references to 2 metres of social distancing have been removed from the previous guidance however it is emphasised that COVID-19 can still be spread through social contact and that reviewing layouts, using screens or barriers or encouraging back-to-back or side-to-side working will remain helpful from a risk mitigation perspective.

Overall, there is a marked change in emphasis compared to the previous guidance. References to making the workplace covid-19-secure have been removed. The reference to "stop the spread" has changed to "reduce the risk", "minimising risk" has changed to "reducing risk", "make your business safe" has changed to "make your business safer", and "you must consider the recommendations" has changed to "you should consider the recommendations".

So what should businesses and employers do next?
Given the high prevalence of the COVID-19 Delta variant in the UK currently many offices are seeing a reduced number of employees wishing to return to the workplace. This has meant that many office based employers have chosen not to significantly alter their current working from home practices in the short-term. With the possibility of additional restrictions being reimposed later this summer or in the autumn, businesses and employers should prepare for the possibility of needing to reimpose some of the restrictions they may have had in place previously.

For now, businesses and employers should start to update their COVID-19 risk assessment to help them gain a better understanding as to what they need to do as part of Step 4 of the Roadmap and continue to keep informed of updated guidance from the Government and review their Covid Secure policy to ensure it reflects the new guidance. - View a sample of the Covid-19 Secure Policy here.

Related Articles:

- Everyone's Talking About Flexible Working

- Care Home Workers & Mandatory Vaccinations: The New Regulations

 

Posted in Coronavirus, Customer Update, Health & Safety

3
Aug 21

Posted by
Jennifer Patton

Care Home Workers & Mandatory Vaccinations: The New Regulations

On the 13th of July 2021, Greece and France made COVID vaccination mandatory for healthcare workers, following the precedent set by Italy. Now, the UK is the next to make the COVID vaccine mandatory for workers in Care Quality Commission-registered homes.

Until recently the UK authorities have not made the Covid-19 vaccination compulsory for any citizens, however on the 22nd of July 2021, regulations were approved in relation to the Health and Social Care Act 2008 . The Act makes it compulsory for a person working or providing professional services in Care Quality Commission-registered care homes to be fully Covid-19 vaccinated, unless they have a medical exemption. The purpose of this regulation, which will only apply to England and come into force on the 11th of November 2021, is to better protect care home residents from death and serious illness.

This regulation will apply to all workers employed directly by the care home or care home provider (on a full-time or part-time basis), those employed by an agency and deployed by the care home, and volunteers deployed in the care home. Those coming into care homes to do other work, for example healthcare workers, tradespeople, hairdressers and beauticians, and CQC inspectors will also have to follow the new regulations, unless they have a medical exemption. The clinical exemption will be clarified in the Code of Practice that will be issued to accompany the Regulations at the end of July 2021. The regulations do not apply to visitors of care homes.

There will be a 16 week grace period from the 22nd of July for all care home workers to be vaccinated, with the 16th of September being the last date for care workers to get their first vaccine so they are fully vaccinated before regulations come into force. The government estimates that by the time the vaccine becomes compulsory, approximately 87% of the workforce will have received both doses.

Employers that fall under these new regulations are highly advised to start putting measures in place so as the regulations can be implementded by 11 November. The steps should include introducing a Covid-19 Vaccination Policy, which includes the medical exemptions that will be acceptable and evidential requirements. The policy should be introduced after discussion with staff. If employees/workers are still reluctant to have the Covid-19 vaccine then you will need to take steps to look at whether they can be redeployed to other areas of the business or even dismissal. Employers forced to dismiss an employee in this circumstance should do so before 11 November 2021, being mindful of any notice periods.

Bright Contracts has recently been updated to include a vaccine policy which covers these consideration points for our customers to include in their employee handbooks, which can be found under the terms and conditions tab. If you wish to download a trial of the software to have a look at a sample of this content, you can download the software here.

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Posted in Bright Contracts News, Coronavirus, Employment Law, Health & Safety

28
Jul 21

Posted by
Jennifer Patton

Everyone's Talking About Flexible Working

The coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis has completely shifted the way we work and live. Companies have had to quickly adopt new initiatives and technologies to ensure employee safety whilst maintaining productivity. Working from home has now become the normality for many of us and adapting to these new ways of working is essential for business continuity.

The UK has been ahead of the curve with the right to request flexible working having been in place since 2014 and after more than a year of enforced home working, UK employers are anticipating an influx of flexible working requests as restrictions lift and staff begin to return to the office.

What is flexible working?

Flexible working can refer to a variety of arrangements includes but is not limited to; part-time work, ‘compressed hours’ over fewer days, remote working, ‘flexitime’ and job sharing arrangements.

Flexible working arrangements can be formal or informal. Some organisations choose to amend the written employment contract when new working arrangements are put in place, and/or include flexible working policies in the employer’s handbook. However some forms of flexible working, such as working from home, are likely to be offered informally, for example in agreement with an employee’s line manager.

Examples of kinds of flexible working that you can request include:

  • reducing your hours to work part-time
  • changing your start and finish times
  • having flexibility with your start and finish time (also known as ‘flexitime’)
  • doing your hours over fewer days (‘compressed hours’)
  • working from home or elsewhere (‘remote working’)
  • sharing the job with someone else (‘job share’)

The right to request flexible working

The legal position is that all employees with at least 26 weeks’ continuous employment are able to make a statutory request for flexible working, in writing, for any reason. A new request can be made once every 12 months. Where a request is made, the employer must deal with that request in a reasonable manner and notify the employee of the outcome, including any appeal, within a three-month period, unless that timeframe is extended by mutual agreement.

Making a request

When making a request for flexible working there is no form however in order to qualify as a statutory request, it must:

  • Be in writing.
  • Be dated.
  • Explain the change they would like to their working pattern.
  • Explain when they would like the change to come into force.
  • Explain what effect the change would have on the business.
  • Explain how such effects might be dealt with.
  • State that it is a statutory request.
  • State if the employee has made a request previously and if so when.

Posted in Bright Contracts News, Contract of employment, Coronavirus, Employee Contracts, Employee Handbook, Employment Law

16
Jun 21

Posted by
Jennifer Patton

Let's Get Topical - The Vaccine Policy

The Vaccine. . . a major topical area and again one that information about is changing by the day. Instead of overloading you with paragraph upon paragraph of text, we thought we’d approach this section as a Q&A which covers all questions you may have about the vaccine policy.

The first question is - Can you insist that an employee be tested?

In the absence of a legal requirement for employees to take a test, no individual can lawfully be forced to take one, as such an action could be considered assault given the physical element of taking a test.

Employees who have no symptoms should only be asked to take a test on a voluntary basis. Employees who have no symptoms and are not a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case may query the legal basis of being required to take a covid test before entering the workplace. In this scenario, the purpose of the test should be explained to the employee and if the employee continues to refuse the test, employers need to tread very carefully to avoid employee relations issues.

Moving onto question 2 - Can you ask an employee if they have been vaccinated?

While employees are not obliged to provide personal medical information, employers may seek vaccination information on the foundation that they are meeting their legal obligations under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work etc. Act 1974. It will be up to the employee if they wish to volunteer this information to their employer. If they choose to volunteer this information, then employers should not disclose this information to other employees. As medical data is considered as a Special Category of Personal data, additional data protection regulation apply and must considered.

Lastly, question 3 - Can you insist that an employee be vaccinated?

Currently vaccinations are recommended by UK authorities, but not compulsory for any citizen. Even with the role out of the Covid vaccination amongst medical workers who are employees of the HSE, for these employees the vaccine was not mandatory. With this in mind, it is likely to be very difficult for an employer to argue and defend a case that vaccination is compulsory in a workplace. There is little an employer can do if their employee refuses to get the vaccine however, understanding their concerns is important and finding solutions that meet the business needs without infringing on their rights is crucial in managing their integration into the workplace. Employers need to think carefully about any action they take and consider the potential legal consequences associated with these actions.

If you are an employer, now you are most likely thinking, 'What can I do about the vaccine and my workplace?'. The answer is simple, employees cannot be forced to avail of the vaccine however it is vitally important that employers promote that their employees take a vaccine. The best way to take a proactive stance here is to roll out a vaccine policy. We would advise doing this now to help prepare employees. In creating a vaccine policy you’ll want to consider :

1. Providing your workforce with a list of resources where they can obtain further information about the vaccination programme, for example, gov.uk, nhs.uk

2. Your policy must recognise that the decision to avail of the vaccine is the individual's choice however the employer encourages their workforce to make an informed decision through:

    • Reading information about COVID-19 vaccinations via official sources;
    • Listening to the information provided when offering a vaccine; and
    • Being cautious of misinformation around COVID-19 vaccinations by unreliable sources.

3. Detail whether your employee's will be paid or un-paid for the leave to attend their appointment.

4. If an employee feels unwell after their vaccination they will be instructed to follow The Company's sick leave policy.

Lastly, we would recommend :

5. That employers include a section in the vaccine policy about employee's respecting others privacy and not having open discussions about the vaccine with colleagues.

Bright Contracts has recently been updated to include a vaccine policy which covers these consideration points for our customers to include in their employee handbooks, which can be found under the terms and conditions tab.
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- Vaccinations & The Workplace

Posted in Company News, Coronavirus, Customer Update, Employee Handbook, Health & Safety

11
Jun 21

Posted by
Jennifer Patton

Supporting Female Employees: Implementing a Menopause Policy

2021 has been a year of big change for everyone and has given rise to many different topics of conversation, a vitally important topic is that of menopause among the female workforces. Media outlets across the UK have been discussing menopause and from these discussions it has been said that ‘The menopause is where mental health was 10 years ago’. A statement which could not be more true. These discussions have brought to the surface the realisation that menopause is considered a taboo subject, like mental health was and like mental health we are not educated enough in what menopause is, the symptoms of it and how we can help those going through menopause which is why it is so important for employers to educate their workforce and to recognise the importance of supporting women in the workplace who are transitioning through menopause which is why we believe it is vitally important for organisations to implement a menopause policy as we believe it needs to be acknowledged and recognised as an important occupational issue requiring supports to be made available.

To ensure that companies show a positive attitude towards the menopause, we want to encourage employers to create an atmosphere where women feel there are colleagues with whom they can comfortably discuss menopausal symptoms and that they can ask for support and adjustments in order to work safely and without fear of negative repercussions. For this reason, the menopause is an issue for men as well as women. So let’s touch on the basics of menopause by answering the simple question, ‘What is menopause?’ Menopause is a natural stage of life when a woman’s estrogen levels decline and she stops having periods. As menopausal symptoms are typically experienced for several years, it is best described as a ‘transition’ rather than a one-off event. The menopause typically happens between age 45 and 55. The ‘perimenopause’ is the phase leading up to the menopause, when a woman’s hormone balance starts to change. For some women this can start as early as their twenties or as late as their late forties.

There are various symptoms that can be experienced through menopause and can be both physical and/or psychological. They can include: hot flushes, insomnia, headaches, fatigue, memory lapses, anxiety, depression and heart palpitations and each of these symptoms can affect an employee’s comfort and performance at work which is why we developed our menopause policy to ensure you are assisting your female employees in their daily duties. In order to assist those experiencing these symptoms in their daily duties, it is important that your company menopause policy explores making reasonable accommodations to the individuals role or working environment with the aim of reducing the effect that the menopause is having on the individual which is explored in our new menopause policy available on Bright Contracts today! We are committed to ensuring appropriate support and assistance is provided to female employees and that exclusionary or discriminatory practices will not be tolerated. Our menopause policy is fully compliant with the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work etc. Act 1974 as well as the Equality Act 2010.

Check out your Bright Contracts today to view the update, or if you would like to become a Bright Contracts user you can download the software and purchase a licence today.
To access the update, log out of your Bright Contracts company file and log back in, you will then see a yellow bar across the top of the page asking you if you would like to upgrade the content.

Posted in Bright Contracts News, Company handbook, Customer Update, Employee Handbook, Employment Law, Health & Safety, Software Upgrade, Staff Handbook

9
Jun 21

Posted by
Jennifer Patton

It's As Easy As 1,2,3: Key Elements of a Safe Employee Return

Following on from our previous blog post 'Our Employees Are Back! – How Do I Return My Employees Safely' this blog post will detail the first 3 guidelines of making your workplace COVID-secure during the coronavirus pandemic.:

1.Risk Assessment

2. Social Distancing

3. Cleaning, Hygiene & Handwashing

1.Risk Assessment

As an employer it is vitally important to keep your employees free from harm which includes taking reasonable steps to protect your workers and others from coronavirus through conducting a risk assessment which will help to manage the risk and protect people. 

In order to pinpoint how and where could the virus be transmitted in your workplace you must look at the hazards, evaluate the risks and put control measures in place. This will help you to understand as a business what you should do to work safely and protect your people.

You must complete the following steps:

  • identify what work activity or situations might cause transmission of the virus
  • think about those who could be at risk
  • decide how likely it is that someone could be exposed
  • act to remove the activity or situation, or if this isn't possible, control the risk

COVID risk assessments will need to reflect any changes in legislation or guidance which may impact how employers carry out their work activity, for example if there is a change in local or national restrictions. If there is a change to how work is carried out, you will need to review your Health & Safety policies.

2.Social Distancing

Social distancing means keeping people apart in order to help to reduce the spread of the virus. Where possible, individuals should keep 2 metres apart. If this isn't possible then additional control measures should be considered.

In the UK some rules about social distancing may be different in each of the devolved nations. Therefore you should check the public health guidance for the country you are in.

Social distancing should form part of your business's risk assessment and is one of the steps needed to make your workplace COVID-secure.

Some of the measures you can put in place in order to maintain social distancing includes but is not limited tot eh following:

  • using paint/ floor tape to mark work areas
  • display appropriate signage to remind those to social distance 
  • advise individuals to travel alone in the lift or when driving to work
  • turn high-traffic areas like corridors, turnstiles and walkways into one-way systems where possible

3.Cleaning, Hygiene & Handwashing

The next point is to develop a comprehensive catch-all document that deals with all points of relevance relating to the cleaning & hygiene of your workplace. The virus can be transferred from people to surfaces and those who touch the same surfaces. Therefore keeping your workplace clean and frequent handwashing reduces the potential for coronavirus to spread and is a critical part of making and keeping your business 'COVID-secure'.

For those of you who are using our Bright Contracts package, Bright Contracts has been updated with a template Covid-19 response plan which can be found in the 'Optional Sections' tab of the software. It covers everything referenced just now and more. 

Stay tuned for next weeks blog post to read how to furthermore make your workplace covid secure.

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Our Employees Are Back! – How Do I Return My Employees Safely?

Posted in Coronavirus, Customer Update

2
Jun 21

Posted by
Jennifer Patton

Our Employees Are Back! – How Do I Return My Employees Safely?

As businesses work towards reopening in part or full, and mindful of government advice and changing restrictions, employers must plan for any return to the workplace in a way that cares for their people and safeguards their health and wellbeing. As the UK progresses through the government roadmap to easing restrictions and getting the country back to 'normality' as much as possible employers will need to plan for their employees gradual return to the workplace. Employers should note that the timetable and rules set out in any ‘roadmap’ for easing lockdown are still subject to review and it is essential to keep up to date with any further changes during the progressive easing of lockdown.

Where a return to the workplace is necessary or possible under the latest easing of restrictions, at the heart of any plans should be a commitment to support flexible and remote working where possible, and the provision of support for physical and mental health for workers. 

The Government's advice to work from home wherever possible (expected to last until June or July 2021), offers two options:

  1. Supporting working from home until lockdown restrictions or social distancing is relaxed
  2. Where working from home is not possible, facilitating a return to the workplace in line with COVID-secure workplace guidance.

Where home working is not possible it is advisable to make your workplace COVID-secure. The HSE website provides guidance to employers based on the industry they operate within however the following guidelines are applicable across all industries.

1. Risk Assessment

2. Social Distancing

3. Cleaning, Hygiene & Handwashing

4. Ventilation & Air Conditioning 

5. Provide Information

6. Working From Home

7. Protection of Vulnerable Workers

Our follow up blog post will delve into these guidelines to help you make the return of your employees to the workplace as safe as possible.

We at Bright Contracts can help you get back to the office in line with government guidelines and give your employees the confidence to return with the aid of our COVID-19 policies - temporary working from home and our vaccine policy which are available along with a number of other policies in our Bright Contracts software. If you wish to avail of a free trial you can do so here or you can book a demo of the software with one of our Bright Contracts consultants. To purchase Bright Contracts & download the software you can do so here.

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Posted in Bright Contracts News, Coronavirus, Customer Update

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