As it eases the lockdown measures, businesses reopen from Monday 12th April 2021 and more people return to work, the Government has produced guidance for employers.
From Monday 29th March 2021, the ‘stay at home’ rule was lifted. However, people should continue to work from home where possible. To check the guidance, visit gov.uk
Workplace safety & safely reopening businesses
This guidance covers measures to help employers continue to protect their workers’ health and safety as well measure that need to be put into place to protect customers as businesses begin to reopen that had previously been ordered to close.
Employers are being advised they must continue to follow health and safety workplace guidance for their sector. Requirements include:
- making every reasonable effort to enable working from home as a first option;
- identifying sensible measures to control the risks in the workplace where working from home isn’t possible;
- keeping the workplace clean, maintaining safe working separation, and preventing transmission through unnecessary touching of potentially contaminated surfaces.
Sector-specific guidance for employers is available online. The roadmap outlining when businesses are expected to reopen is available here.
Following this guidance will help employers reduce the risk of a spread of infection in the workplace.
Reporting an outbreak
You can now find advice about identifying a COVID-19 outbreak, reporting it to the local health protection team and working with health protection team to manage the response on a series of Action Cards.
Testing kits for businesses
The Government announced that, from Tuesday 6th April 2021, the workplace testing programme will supply home test kits to companies with more than ten workers where it is not possible to set up testing on-site. This could be due to a lack of space or because a company operates across multiple sites.
Over 60,000 businesses across the country have already registered their interest to provide rapid tests to key workers.
Businesses are encouraged to register before Monday 12th April 2021 in order to access free tests until the end of June, even if they’re not yet open or are not able to start using the tests straight away.
NHS Test and Trace service
Launched in May 2020, the NHS Test and Trace service forms a central part of the Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy.
Through this service, anyone who tests positive for coronavirus will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and will need to share information about their recent interactions. This could be with household members, people with whom they have been in direct contact, or within 2 metres for more than 15 minutes.
Those people identified as having been in close contact with someone who has had a positive test result must then stay at home for 10 days. They must do this even if they do not have symptoms, to prevent them spreading the virus without knowing.
Employees in self-isolation are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay for every day they are in isolation, as long as they meet the eligibility conditions.
The NHS Test and Trace service will provide a notification that can be used as evidence that someone has been told to self-isolate.