Work from home if you can?

With the rates of Covid-19 infections on the rise, Boris Johnson will address the nation this evening to explain what the new rules are and what measures are being put in place to tackle the dramatic surge in cases.

What has been announced?

The Government had previously launched a campaign aimed at getting people back into work in the hope of getting things back to normal and the economy moving again.

In an interview this morning, Michael Gove announced that there will be a shift in emphasis and that If people can work from home then they should do so.

This represents a massive U-turn by the Government, but what does this mean for businesses?

We are still waiting for clarification regarding the new measures, but essentially it appears that if you have employees who can do their work from home, then they should do so. This will include all types of office workers amongst others.

If you have employees that cannot work from home, then it appears that they can continue to come into work so long as you have made your workplace Covid secure.

This is likely to have a huge impact on businesses, many of whom have struggled to encourage a somewhat reluctant workforce back into a work environment, after long periods of homeworking. For many employers they have faced an uphill struggle to re-engage their disconnected workforce.

Just as many have overcome the challenges of returning to work, we are faced with yet another change to “normal” working practices.

What do I need to do as a business?

Now is the chance to review your business and consider what measures you need to get into place. This may include the following:

  • Conduct a risk assessment to determine whether you have adhered to the Covid-secure guidelines;
  • Determine which of your employees can work from home and those who need to come into the workplace;
  • Have an open dialogue with your employees – keep them informed and encourage them to make suggestions and come up with ideas – listen to their concerns and treat each of them as an individual;
  • Put measures in place which will allow your employees to return to working from home, such as sourcing equipment including laptops, mobile phones etc;
  • Review your policies such as your home working policy, rules surrounding dress code and PPE;
  • Learn from your mistakes – if you had staff previously working from home that are now back in the office, consider what worked well and what didn’t work well and make the necessary changes.
  • Start to consider the future and what these new measures mean for your business – will you need to consider lay- offs, redundancies or changes to terms and conditions? These all need careful consideration and planning so it may be that now is the best time to start to plan.

Whatever your plans are, we can help. Call Guardian on 0115 870 0150 or email us at support@guardianlaw.co.uk.

 

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