As the Prime Minister stated in his broadcast of 10th May, the Government is preparing to re-start the economy. With this in mind, we have collated information and advice to support our members who have remained open but looking to ramp things up, and those looking to resume business operations in the near future. Working within the constraints of Government guidance will be key. We must remember that the end of lockdown does not mean the end of the COVID-19 crisis and that until there is an effective vaccine, it is likely that some measures to prevent further spread will be in place.
The information on this web page and in the good practice document has been compiled from government guidance. It is not intended to be used as a definitive guide as the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation changes daily and Government policy changes in response, but reflects good practice at the time of publication.
Each employer is singly responsible for remaining fully informed about current best practice and always exercising judgment in its workers’ interests and welfare before adopting guidance in its own business. You should ensure that you keep everyone updated on actions being taken to reduce risks of exposure in your workplace. It is advisable to document the date of any such actions and the Government guidance it relates to. In this way you will protect the business against legal scrutiny once the pandemic is over.
The key measures for controlling the spread of COVID-19 to be included in any safe working practice are:
- Not to come into work if the individual, or a member of their household, are presenting COVID-19 symptoms
- Social distancing
- Hand washing / Sanitisation
Operating safely through COVID-19
Where businesses remain open, employers should take every possible step to facilitate their employees working from home. If your employees cannot work from home then they can still travel to work, provided they are well and no one in their household is self-isolating. The COVID-19 Onsite checklist for safe working will aid in this process
Reopening your business
If you’re considering reopening your business after a period of closure, we suggest that you work through some key points to ensure safe operations. The COVID-19 Building reoccupation checklist will help in this activity.
There are a range of issues and tasks you will need to consider as part of the process of opening up your business. Every step should be carefully considered and fully documented. A Risk assessment should be completed.
- Plan how you are intending to operate in the short, medium and longer term
- What are the key operations needed in the initial opening and then operating phase?
- As part of these plans you should consider a phased return.
- Letter to continue to travel to work - template
- Return to work after furlough letter
- Talking with your workers about preventing coronavirus
- Draft Code of Conduct to reduce the spread of COVID-19
- HSE webinar: Working safely through COVID-19
For further guidance:
- Health and Safety Executive coronavirus guidance
- HSE Guidance: working safely thorugh the coronoavirus outbreak
- HSE guidance: talking with your workers about preventing coronavirus
- HSE guidance: Social distancing, your business and in-work activities
- HSE guidance: Work equipment – examinations and testing
- HSE guidance: Protect home workers
- HSE guidance: RIDDOR reporting of the coronavirus
- HSE guidance: First Aid cover and qualifications
- St Johns Ambulance: Advice for first aiders
- Government social distancing advice for employers to follow in the workplace
- Further government guidance for employers, businesses and their staff on staying safe during the coronavirus including advice on shift patterning and staff canteens.
- COVID-19 Business Support Hub
- Government FAQs on the coronavirus
- Government information for NI businesses and employers
- Government information for Scottish businesses
- Government information for Welsh businesses