Returning to work after lockdown
Our Head of Finance has attended a couple of helpful webinars.
Her key points are:
- Continue to work from home where possible.
- Every organisation needs to do a risk assessment before returning to work after lockdown, if possible the results should be published on their website, and the government ‘expects’ all organisations with over 50 employees to do so. Risk Assessments should include consultation with employees.
- Maintain 2 metres social distancing ‘where possible’ or put measures in place to minimise the transmission risk.
- Review/strengthen cleaning processes.
As part of the risk assessment, employers will need to consider the status of individual employees, and whether they or someone in their household is ‘clinically vulnerable’, ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’. This health data is a special category under GDPR, and will need to be managed accordingly.
- Some info from Paris Smith solictitors
- Some info from Crossley HR services
- Some info from Government
Update to the Covid-19 symptoms
The Government has announced new information about Covid-19 symptoms. From 18 May, all individuals should self-isolate if they develop a new continuous cough or fever or anosmia (a loss or changed sense of normal smell or taste). All members of their household must also self-isolate unless the symptomatic individual receives a negative test result.
Cases of Covid-19 in the workplace
Cases of Covid-19 in the workplace must be reported under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR).
This article details when you need to report an incidence of Covid-19 in the workplace and how to do this.
The government, in consultation with industry, has produced guidance to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible during the Covid-19 pandemic. There are eight guides covering a range of different types of work. You may need to use more than one of these guides as you think through what you need to do to keep people safe.
Staying alert and safe (social distancing)
New social distancing guidance has been issued for the general public who are fit and well. People who are clinically vulnerable should continue to take particular care to minimise contact with others outside their household. Those who are clinically extremely vulnerable are advised to continue shielding measures to keep themselves safe.
Guidance has been issued on how to wear and make a cloth face covering – and advising people to consider wearing face coverings in enclosed public spaces such as shops, trains and buses to help reduce the spread of Covid-19. It is highlighted that face coverings are not a replacement for social distancing and regular handwashing.
Staying safe outside the home
The Government has published new guidance on staying safe outside the home. Instructions include: keeping a distance from others, maintaining good hygiene, continuing to work from home if possible, avoiding crowds and wearing a face covering in some situations.
Frequently asked questions
The Government has updated the Covid-19 outbreak FAQs on what you can and can’t do, to bring them in line with the latest announcements.
Antibody testing kits
Professor John Newton, national coordinator of the UK coronavirus testing programme, has warned against the purchase of unapproved antibody testing kits. Unapproved tests could be misleading, providing inaccurate or inconsistent results, potentially putting those tested and those around them at risk. So far, no reliable antibody test has been found. [So I guess that means “don’t buy antibody tests” – Ed]
Advice for social care providers
The Social Care Institute for Excellence has issued coronavirus advice for social care, including guides for those supporting autistic adults and adults with learning disabilities during the coronavirus pandemic.
Advice for care home staff
Public Health England has published guidance for care home staff on how to work safely during this period. The guidance includes information on the correct use of PPE.
Should I wear a face mask?
Hampshire’s Public Health experts have said that there is very little evidence of widespread benefit from the use of face masks outside of clinical or care settings, where they play a very important role.
Public Health England does not currently recommend masks for the general public because:
- they can be contaminated by other people’s coughs and sneezes or when putting them on or removing them
- frequent handwashing and social distancing are more effective
- they might offer a false sense of security (which could result in poorer compliance with other infection control measures)
To be effective, face masks must be worn correctly, changed frequently, removed properly, disposed of safely and used in combination with good universal hygiene behaviour.