Put Covid-19 safety at the top of your company’s Christmas list

December 21, 2020

With positive news about a vaccine, the UK is taking its first tentative steps towards a new normal following months of tight restrictions due to the pandemic.

However, with many people having to wait some time yet before they receive the vaccination, and with the virus still in circulation, employers and staff are being warned not to let down their guard against Covid-19 this festive season.

In the run up to Christmas, businesses continue to be encouraged to review their Covid-19 risk assessment policy and to develop a specific strategy to stop the spread of the virus.

Karen Dykes, partner at Peterborough-based Anne Corder Recruitment, said: “The Government guidelines remain that if people can work from home, they should continue to do so. However, if this is not possible then employers are now being asked to follow strict measures set out by the Government.”

These include:

  • Minimising the number of unnecessary visits to the office
  • Ensuring that staff observe 2m (6ft) social distancing wherever possible
  • If that is not viable, staff should observe 1m social distancing with additional precautions
  • Frequent cleaning of surfaces, objects and communal areas
  • Extra hand washing facilities
  • Introducing one-way systems to minimise contact
  • Using screens or barriers between staff
  • Using back-to-back or side-to-side working (rather than face-to-face) whenever possible
  • Staggering start/end times
  • Collecting visitors’ contact details for NHS Test and Trace.

Karen added: “It is important for employers to keep staff updated on actions being taken to reduce risks of exposure to coronavirus (COVID-19) in the workplace and make sure everyone’s contact numbers and emergency contact details are up to date.

“Likewise, ensuring that employees know how to spot the symptoms of the virus, along with the testing and self-isolation process and requirements is crucial. We would also urge people to take extra care and follow the Government advice on ‘bubbles’ over Christmas.”

If someone cannot work because they have to self-isolate, they must tell their employer as soon as possible. Financial support is available, depending on where you live and work, for  employees and employers if staff are instructed to self-isolate.”

Karen added: “If someone is told to self-isolate, they should work from home if that is possible. If they are already at work, they should tell their employer immediately and go home.”