Government plans on potential post-lockdown workplace measures released

As our neighbours on the continent start to relax the lockdown rules in the weeks ahead, the pressure is on for the UK Government to follow suit. Boris Johnson is due to set out the country’s exit strategy this coming Sunday but, in the meantime, some possible after-lockdown rules in the world of work have been shared. What could these include?

One thing’s for certain – for most of us, work as we know it won’t be the same for some time yet. Even after lockdown ends, it’s inevitable that continuing social distancing and other COVID-19 related rules will be rolled out – probably in phases – to reduce the risk of second peak of the virus.

The BBC has seen a draft Government plan on what these rules could involve in practice. These include: 

  • reducing hot-desking 
  • maximising homeworking 
  • minimising use of equipment 
  • staggering shift times 
  • implementing additional hygiene procedures 
  • increasing/ introducing PPE 
  • physical screens 

The draft proposals have been shared with some business groups and unions (who have until 9pm tonight to respond). One of the major issues of concern for employers will be any requirement to provide PPE – Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, for example has called for clear guidance from the Government on businesses’ PPE obligations and the extent of their liability in fulfilling these obligations 

As well as the above, contact-tracing is likely to play a key part in workplace management once lockdown ends – the Government, for example, is trialling a new NHS phone app on the Isle of Wight to enable this. Similarly, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, suggested that one-way systems for commuters could be put in place, to avoid transport overcrowding. 

In the meantime, how can businesses make a start in preparing for a post-lockdown world? Last week, we took a look at some of the steps which employers can already take to protect themselves and their staff against the after-effects of the coronavirus pandemic.  

Our dedicated Employment and Immigration team can help guide you through these issuesWe’re also assisting businesses facing difficulties in accessing and claiming against business interruption insurance – here’s a link for more information. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.