The announcement on tougher Coronavirus restrictions by the Prime Minister on September 22 saw a shift away from a return to the workplace, and back towards working from home wherever possible.
The key advice is here:
“Workers who can work effectively from home should do so over the winter. Where an employer, in consultation with their employee, judges an employee can carry out their normal duties from home they should do so.”
The announcement reminded businesses of their responsibility to follow Covid-19 secure guidelines in the workplace, and that extra consideration should be given to those people at higher risk
In response to questions in Parliament, the Prime Minister added that employee mental health could be a factor in decision-making: “Where people must go into work for their job, their mental health, their wellbeing or whatever it happens to be, then of course they should do so.”
Every business is different, and the measures leave some room for interpretation. In making decisions about how you should work, you will need to weigh up several factors including the needs of your business, your workplace Covid security measures, and the wellbeing of your people.
If you would like advice from the Reality HR team about what these changes mean for you and your teams, we are here to help.
We are in for a long haul – six months at least. For many organisations, an element of home working, or blended home and workplace working, will be with us for some time – so, it’s important that HR fundamentals are in place and are robust enough to be effective in the longer term.
There are also further unknowns to consider – including parents who may once again need to look after young children if their school shuts down, and those who may be self-isolating after coming into possible contact with the virus.
The following resources and services from Reality HR may be of use as you develop your plans for the future:
- Our free RESET guide talks through the HR steps you may wish to take to help your business adjust during uncertain times – including advice on flexible working, changed hours, the furlough scheme, redundancy and communication with your teams
- Reality HR’s Homeworking: HR Essentials toolkit is tailored for your business and includes policies, risk assessments and guidance for managers whose teams are remote working
- We offer a redundancy toolkit to help employers make difficult decisions fairly and lawfully
- Our free Test and Trace factsheet contains helpful advice on your obligations if a staff member suspects they have Coronavirus
- Our Reality HR FLEX service can be accessed in three-month blocks with no obligation to continue after each period.
We will also shortly be publishing our snapshot survey of employers which gives insight in post-lockdown working practices along with helpful advice from our team.
This is a challenging time for employers and you may need additional support with people management. If you would like to speak to a member of the Reality HR team about how we can help, please just get in touch.