Returning to work safely

Organisations must take steps to ensure that staff can safely return to work. The government continues to update its guidance in this area, which differs depending on the type of workplace involved.

Employers must make arrangements for employees to work safely and the guidance for employees is as follows:

If you, or anyone in your household, currently has symptoms of coronavirus then you must not go to work.

If you're currently on furlough you can stay on furlough, until your employer asks you to return to work. The furlough scheme ends on 31 October 2020.

If you're worried about going back to work, you can:

  • read Citizens Advice guidance about staying safe at work
  • check if you can make flexible working arrangements with your employer (for example working part-time, or working from home)
  • get advice on flexible working from ACAS
  • get advice on looking after your mental health from the NHS

If you have a disability or health condition you should talk to your employer about whether you need any reasonable adjustments.

If your employer is not taking all practical steps to promote social distancing, you can report this to your local authority, or Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The HSE can require your employer to take additional steps where appropriate.

Note that there is different guidance for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

It is essential for employers to get this right. Cleary they must prioritise the health of their staff and customers – but also avoid the possibility of a claim from employees whose needs are not met.

To discuss this or any other employment matter, contact us.