Are you ready for the ‘reopening’ of business?

In the wake of the UK’s latest lockdown, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a four-step plan that the government hopes will allow England to reopen safely. This process is currently projected to start on 8th March, and each of the four stages will last a minimum of five weeks.

Specific goals that will be monitored by the government in order to lessen pandemic-related restrictions include continued success of the vaccination programme, a reduction in deaths and cases requiring hospital treatment, and reduced infection rates. Any changes related to new variants of COVID-19 could also disrupt current plans.

If all goes according to plan, each step will consist of four weeks for collecting and assessing data, followed by one week for businesses and individuals to prepare for the next stage. The new plan will implement changes and lessen restrictions across England. As such, the regional tier system that was used for much of 2020 is not expected to return.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted businesses across a variety of industries, forcing them to rethink their daily operations to ensure the safety of their employees and the general public. In fact, procedures related to employee health and safety, leave, housekeeping, remote work and similar workplace policies have all had to evolve as a result of COVID-19. This is particularly true when you consider that just one misstep could put an employee’s well-being in jeopardy. As a result of the unprecedented challenges the COVID-19 pandemic brings, businesses should review their protocols to ensure they are doing all they can to protect their workforce and manage their operations.

Thankfully, assessing your exposures and taking the appropriate precautions can go a long way toward safeguarding your business. You may think that things will just go back to normal upon return to a full staffed, physical business premises, but there may be differences to our business activities or processes, conducting a regular risk review will help identify any potential safer and more effective ways of working. We have compiled the following sample tools and templates

This questionnaire gives businesses the opportunity to review categories specific to COVID-19 risk adjustments and considerations, it also offers advice for to find and take actions to address those risks.

An employer can use this document to outline their voluntary/mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy.

Note: These documents are merely sample templates, and all policy usage must be heavily edited before being adopted in a workplace.

The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged employers to plan for how they would respond to a positive test in their workplace. Employers are responsible for handling the situation swiftly to protect the health of other employees while preserving the affected employee’s confidentiality. In addition to notifying the company and its customers, employers must also disinfect the office and evaluate next steps. If you’re in this situation, you may be wondering what you need to do. This checklist provides an outline of steps for employers to consider.

Use this checklist as a guide when planning how to respond to an employee testing positive for COVID-19. For any items you are unable to check, consider if any updates to your organisation’s response could help protect the health and safety of employees and guests. By preparing in advance, employers can swiftly respond to the employee, effectively notify the rest of their organisation and make plans for moving forward.

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