Edwin Coe LLP (England-Wales): Government Guidance for Office Workers

Following Boris Johnson’s recent announcement on 10 May 2020, the Government has published Guidance for people who work in offices, contact centres or other similar environments. The Guidance sets out steps that should be taken by employers, employees and self-employed individuals in order to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic. The advice is predicated on the fact that if employees can work from home, they should continue to do so. If it is not possible for employees to work from home, risk assessments should be carried out by employers before anyone is asked to return to work and these must be prepared in consultation with an elected health and safety representative. Employers must continue to be vigilant of their duty to uphold health and safety standards and these should be assessed on a continuous basis, taking into account employees’ concerns. The Government guidance can be found here.

Separately, the Government has also published Guidance concerning use of transport during this period. Use of public transport is not advised and people should consider walking and cycling where possible. The Guidance emphasises that people should think and plan their journeys carefully and ensure that precautionary measures are used where possible, for example carrying hand sanitiser when making journeys. This transport Guidance is directed at the general population, however it is something that employers and employees alike must give due consideration to if they are thinking or returning to work. The guidance can be found here.

The position remains far from the norm and caution is still required during these difficult times.

To review our previous updates, please click here.

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