The Prime Minister has announced a third lockdown period. As was the case in March, employers will need to quickly decide on the steps they will need to take in order to run their businesses under these restrictions.
The restrictions that are likely to have the greatest impact on businesses in the short term are as follows:
1. You may only leave your home for work if you cannot reasonably work from home.
Employers and employees should discuss their working arrangements, and employers should take every possible step to facilitate their employees working from home, including providing suitable IT and equipment to enable remote working.
Where it is not possible for employees to work from home, employers must ensure that the workplace is “Covid-secure”. This will involve carrying out thorough Covid specific risk assessments and putting in place measures to protect the health of their workers. Employers should inform their staff of the steps they have taken in order to reassure them of their safety in the workplace.
We can assist with the preparation of risk assessments and advise on measures.
2. Colleges, primary (reception onwards) and secondary schools will close (other than for vulnerable children and children of critical workers) until after February half term.
This may mean that employees who have childcare responsibilities will need to remain at home to provide childcare. Where such employees cannot work from home, employers may wish to consider utilising the furlough scheme.
3. Clinically extremely vulnerable people must now again shield.
We understand that those in this group will be provided with a letter from their GP confirming their clinically extremely vulnerable status.
It is important for employers to treat employees in this group with care. The furlough scheme can be used for clinically extremely vulnerable people in order to help them shield.
The furlough scheme has been updated several times since its introduction in March 2020 and so, if you are considering utilising this scheme, we can provide you with advice on the process and the most up to date agreement.
Please get in touch with us for further guidance and support – firstname.lastname@example.org