The possible post-lockdown workplace rules being consideredCoronavirus Updates
Leaked to the BBC and the Financial Times, a draft government report has put forward ways that the government will begin to lift the lockdown measures throughout the United Kingdom, with a formal announcement due this Sunday.
The Government, under the Coronavirus Act 2020 must, by law, review the lockdown every three weeks, with the next review mandated to take place this Thursday, the 7th of May 2020.
However, there is a broad consensus that a full lockdown may not be seen until a vaccine is developed, which is expected to take until at least the middle of 2021. Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove MP said at yesterday's Downing Street press conference, “Ultimately, unless and until we have a vaccine then I suspect that we are going to have to live with some degree of constraint because of the nature of the virus.”
Due to be revealed this coming Sunday, the key points that have been leaked to the press include:
- Increased ‘flexibility’ around the two-metre social distancing rules. However, this will only apply if firms implement other steps, which are unknown at this point to protect workers.
- Installation of screens, hygiene stations, and limiting the time in which people are in close proximity together.
- Government regulation in which offices will be required to overhaul their work rotas, and include the staggering of the start, and end of the day, including breaks.
- ‘Hot-desking’ and pen-sharing will be banned and sharing equipment will have to be kept to a minimum. The government will also advise the public to stay clear from face-to-face meetings.
- Staff who are ‘vulnerable’ and who can’t work from home should have extra considerations put in place for them.
- Office workers will be urged to continue to work from home for months to come as a way to avoid the transport system becoming ‘overwhelmed.’
- Employees are to have more responsibility for the monitoring of their employees mental and physical health.
- If you employee more than 5 staff, you will have to produce, and regularly update and share, a risk assessment that specifically looks at how to maintain a safe workplace during the pandemic.
However, the draft does not provide guidance on what actions employers should take on PPE in the workplace, instead, it simply says that more information will be released in due course.
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