HR Review has recently reported that the British Medical Association (BMA) has argued that working from home, the wearing of face masks and other measures contemplated in the Government’s ‘Plan B” should now become compulsory again, in light of the rising number of positive cases of Covid-19 being detected during October. The Health Secretary has, however, ruled this out “at this point”.
This divergence in approach between the country’s leading medical association and government is arguably unhelpful for employers who have been trying to implement a safe return to the workplace over the past several weeks. Despite the government’s stance, employers still owe a duty of care to their staff, and must assess health and safety risk in the light of the prevailing conditions, including high levels of community transmission. Appropriate measures to contemplate for staff coming into the workplace may include compulsory vaccination, mask wearing, social distancing, hand sanitation, increased ventilation, and regular lateral flow tests. A contingency plan in the event of an outbreak, and clear processes would also need to be developed and communicated to managers and staff.
Find out how we can help. Our partner, Jon Dunkley, heads the Wollens specialist Employment Department. Contact him today for an informal chat, without obligation on 01271 342268 or via email at [email protected].