Nudging the UK back to work


Following various announcements at the weekend, the Government has published guidance to employers as to the expected best practice to ensure proper safeguards are in place to protect the welfare of staff in the trickle back to work.

The guidance is divided between sectors namely construction and outdoor work, factories, plants and warehouses, lab and research facilities, offices and contact centres, other people’s homes, restaurants offering takeaway or delivery and shops and branches.

These can be downloaded at www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19

The common factors as one would expect are the need for early wide-ranging risk assessments in consultation with staff with a view to maintaining social distancing where possible when they go back to work and managing transmission risk if social distancing cannot be maintained.

The need for frequent sanitising and adequate facilities always being to hand is also emphasised.

Failure to follow advice set out in any of these guides by an employer is likely to lay them open to claims from staff who contract the virus so it would be sensible to retain some written evidence of the risk assessments and consultation having been done.

On a separate note the Government has confirmed that it will extend the furlough scheme to the end of October.

Dermott Thomas is a partner and specialist litigator/advocate at Barker Gotelee, Ipswich solicitors

For more information on our range of legal services, please call the team on 01473 611211 or email bg@barkergotelee.co.uk