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COVID19: Planning to return to the workplace post lockdown

Over the last few weeks the Government has signalled that businesses can start to operate again. The manufacturing and construction sector have returned and this week has seen the return of Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and 6 to our primary schools. All environments are having to operate in different ways than pre Covid19. How are you and your company implementing the return to the workplace post lockdown?

Is your workplace ready for return to work?

Do you see you or your team returning to their workplace as a step forward? Do you have concerns about the health, well-being, and measures that have to be in place to keep your team safe? Make sure you aware of the current UK Government guidelines for a safe return to work.

A recent survey from YouGov for the CIPD showed that 44% of working adults feel anxious about returning to work and this increased to 52% in London.

For businesses there is much to consider when planning to re-open workplaces. In order for employees to return, they must feel safe and confident in the measures that you have put in place.

What can you do to support your team with the safe return to the workplace?

The Government and Public Health England have provided guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed in the UK understand how to work safely during the COVID19 pandemic with the aim of keeping as many people as possible two metres apart from those they do not live with.

Working safely and supporting your workers’ health and well-being during the COVID19 pandemic is ultra important and the Government guidance will help you to continue safe working practise & prepare for the restart of operations during the COVID-19 pandemic for when office working returns.

Please note that the guidance is often updated so you should regularly check for updates.

Click the link to visit @Gov.UK

Key conditions that need to be in place to facilitate a safe and successful return to the workplace

  • Complete a risk assessment for your workplace to identify any measures that you are able to implement and sustain to control the risk within the workplace. If you have a health and safety representative within your business you will need to consult with them. Share the outcome of your risk assessment with your teams before it is finalised so you can gain their feedback so you can work through any concerns they may have
  • Communicate and train your teams on the measures that you have put in place so they are clear on what they need to do e.g. routes that they should take around the workplace, rubbish disposal or cleaning routines
  • Manage the amount of people within the workplace at any one time, that may mean limiting the number of visitors and contractors. You may also consider changing working times, so all of your teams are not in the workplace at once. Remember, if teams can work remotely from home then they should continue to do so
  • For those team members that cannot return to the workplace due to shielding or being off sick then continue to follow your absence procedures. Remain in communication with them, checking in with them on their health, well-being and sharing any updates or news about the business
  • Before you open your workplace ensure that it has had a deep clean. Be able to show you have considered and planned for how you will continue to keep the workplace environment clean

Click here to view the latest Guidance for employers, employees and the self-employed dated from the UK Government dated 11 May 2020

You should share the results of your risk assessment with your workforce. If possible, you should consider publishing the results on your website (it is expected that all employers with over 50 workers do so).

Below you will find a notice you should display in your workplace to show you have followed the UK Government guidance

HB Accountants would like to say a huge thank you to Sally Beckford, HR Specialist at Solutions HR who helped with this blog. As an experienced HR specialist for SME’s, Solutions HR can support you with your plans for returning to the workplace. If you would get in touch, contact Sally Beckford at or call 01992 210256.

HB Accountants are accountants for business. For financial and accounting guidance and support, please contact Keith or Karen. We’re still working hard for all our clients to help you make the right decisions.

Visit our COVID19 Business Hub for more information

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The information contained above is for general guidance purposes only. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the contents are accurate, please note that each individual has different circumstances and it is essential that you seek appropriate professional advice before you act on any of the information contained herein. HB Accountants can accept no liability for any errors or omission or for any person acting on or refraining from acting on the information provided in the above

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