As global concerns about COVID 19 continue to rise, many of our clients are seeking advice on what can be done to protect their workforce. Here are some key points that we have been able to extract from industry publications, which we hope will be of some assistance.
Enforce self-isolation policies: Employees who have potentially been exposed to COVID 19 or displayed symptoms should be encouraged to stay at home from work, contact NHS 111 and follow the governments self-isolation protocol.
Make Workplace Adjustments: Some employees might not be comfortable coming into work because of the spread of COVID 19. As an employer, you have a duty to listen to their concerns and to ensure the health and safety of your staff. Potential resolutions may include implementing flexible work options( including remote working) or allowing employees to take time off as holiday or unpaid leave. If an employee continually refuses to attend without genuine concerns present, you have a right to take disciplinary action. Limit the use of shared workspaces and equipment, where possible ie dedicated workstations/desks.
Limited Business Travel to essential journeys.
Follow sick leave and pay standards: The government has confirmed that any employee who is a confirmed case of COVID 19 or has been instructed to self isolate by the NHS should receive statutory sick pay during their absence from work. Employees are also entitled to time off work is they need to take care of a dependent who has become a confirmed case or instructed to self-isolate.
If any of your employees are not sick, but you make the decision to not have them come to work, they are entitled to their usual pay.
Maintain a sanitary work environment: Instruct employees to clean their hands often and routinely clean frequently touched surfaces(eg telephones, door handles and toilets).
Stay Informed: Employers should closely monitor the NHS, Government and WHO websites for the latest and most accurate information.
Download our Protecting Your Workers From Coronavirus – Risk Insight here.