COVID-19: Returning to the workplace – UK CIPD
The UK CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) guide will help you plan your organisation’s next steps regarding lockdown measures.
As lockdown measures continue to ease, and businesses look to reopen (based on different restrictions in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), employers must plan how they can return to the workplace in a way that cares for their people and safeguards their health and wellbeing.
On 17 July 2020 the Prime Minister announced that from 1 August 2020 the Government’s advice for England on going to work will change: ‘Instead of government telling people to work from home, we are going to give employers more discretion, and ask them to make decisions about how their staff can work safely.’ This could still mean continuing to work from home, or it could mean making workplaces safe by following COVID-secure guidelines. ‘Whatever employers decide, they should consult closely with their employees, and only ask people to return to their place of work if it is safe,’ said the Prime Minister. We will update this guide with the latest government guidance once it becomes available but the CIPD continues to urge employers to consider three key tests before bringing their people back to the workplace: is it essential; is it sufficiently safe; and is it mutually agreed?
As changes to relaxation of restrictions and the potential for regional restrictions to be put in place, it is sensible for businesses to consider all the options and have the capability to move quickly from one scenario to another.
Many workers will be concerned and anxious about being in the workplace or travelling there. They will want to know that their organisation is retaining their support for physical and mental health and its current thinking about flexible and remote working. This should be at the heart of any decisions and plans that organisations make.
The CIPD is urging businesses to ensure they can meet three key tests before bringing their people back to the workplace:
- Is it essential? If people can continue to work from home employers should at least consider continuing to do that for the foreseeable future. If they cannot work from home, is their work deemed essential to your business operation or could the business continue to use the Government’s Job Retention Scheme for longer, giving them the time needed to put safety measures and clear employee guidance and consultation in place?
- Is it sufficiently safe? Employers have a duty of care to identify and manage risks to ensure that the workplace is sufficiently safe to return to. Employers should take their time with gradual returns to work to test health and safety measures in practice and ensure they can work with larger numbers before encouraging more of their workforce back.
- Is it mutually agreed? It’s vital that there is a clear dialogue between employers and their people so concerns, such as commuting by public transport, can be raised and individuals needs and worries taken into account. There will need to be flexibility on both sides to accommodate different working times or schedules as ways of managing some of these issues.
As well as keeping up to date with the latest Government guidance (including sector specific guidance, for example guidance for offices and contact centres) employers should start thinking about the following areas, bearing in mind that the physical, emotional and mental well-being of the workforce must remain the key principle:
- Managing returning to the workplace
- Dealing with redundancies and related issues once the furlough scheme ends
- Managing holidays, sickness and other absences.
OSH UPDATE + FIRE
These new findings, new research reports, new legislation and new articles and guidance will be included in the ever increasing in size OSH UPDATE +FIRE collection www.oshupdate.com
OSH UPDATE + FIRE is:
- long established from mid 1990s with some of the databases in the collection service having information going back over 80 years or more.
- easily searchable by keywords, titles, journal names, standard number, authors, organisations, and will keep you and your colleagues alerted to hot topics such as COVID-19/Coronavirus, returning to work after the lockdown, risk assessment, air pollution, travel restrictions, robots in the workplace, stress, violence and aggression in the workplace, workplace health risks, lone workers, preparedness and business continuity, risk assessment, bio-terrorism, management of road risks, all aspects of fire and related fire topics, workplace health and safety and much more.
- arguably the largest electronic collection in the World with very wide range of subject areas from worldwide sources. There is a special collection of OSH legislation, guidance and advice within OSH UPDATE and FIRE! And the subscription is very budget friendly!
The 26 databases and contents are from worldwide class organisations such as the US NIOSH, the UK Health and Safety Executive, the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work and many more similar global organisations.
All organisations worldwide need to really review their health and safety goals for 2020 and decide on the training or re-training that is needed for all levels of staff and definitely update their information resources.
Check out these successful efforts that are in OSH UPDATE + FIRE and OSHWORLD and introduce them into your workplace!
It is always good to keep researching and finding out if there are services and other ways of keeping up to date in this fast-changing world of ours.
Time is precious and many people are really stretched in their jobs and find it difficult to keep ahead in current knowledge that they should have for their jobs.
So, help is at hand for those working in health, safety and fire and fire related industries which are brought together in an easy to use web service entitled OSH UPDATE + FIRE that is constantly updated.
Then try these long established Practical, Affordable Solutions for your health, safety, fire and environment information needs for a 15 DAY FREE NO OBLIGATION TRIAL contact: Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd | email: email@example.com | or fill in the Interest form www.sheilapantry.com/interest.html
Many meetings and events have been cancelled worldwide because of the Coronavirus pandemic – but optimistically many events are now being arranged for months ahead and many converted to webinars. Look at the details – where possible, we add in the web sites of these events so you can request further information. And do let me know if you are organising any OSHE events so that these can be added to the OSHWORLD Diary.
This month’s OSHWORLD FOCUS is Supporting smokers to quit can help tackle surge in poor mental health.
OSHWORLD – your portal to some great OSH and FIRE web sites in the world
Wherever you are in the world have a look at your health, safety, chemical, fire and environment procedures in your workplace and update them. Your review may also indicate training requirements and re-thinking how systems and services can be improved. This is where the free-of-charge OSHWORLD can help you.
In addition to the above we hope that you find the information in OSHWORLD useful in your daily work. Globally there are continually new titles, news items, new products so remember to look at the News to find the latest information from a range of worldwide sources.
Use OSHWORLD as your portal to many hundreds of validated and authoritative web sites that you can find in the Country and Subject links we offer. New subject topics are constantly brought together on web sites, e.g. nanotechnology and the workplace.
Most information services have a reference shelf where you can quickly check the reference sources – so OSHWORLD brings you a collection of Reference sources and also teaches you how to Search the Internet.
Visit the various Bookshops to order any new document as they are being published. Many of these Bookshops have a constant stream of new titles available.
Please send any suggestions or comments about OSHWORLD – your portal to validated and authoritative information. Remember also to look at our other really useful sites – www.sheilapantry.com and why not make a free entry about your company’s products in www.shebuyersguide.com.
Don’t forget to learn from history – visit
An invaluable resource for students, lecturers, trainers, health and safety professionals and others with a general interest in industrial history, the site sets out developments from the 1802 Factory Act all the way through to the most recent regulatory changes made by the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Also visit www.sheilapantry.com/memorial
Don’t work harder – work smarter! Be ahead of the game.
Well did you have a zero accident, incident-free and healthy 2019 in your workplace? Some would argue that this is not possible! But keep on trying again in 2020 and finding new ways of working in the COVID-19/Coronavirus world.