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People & Employment – The impact of lockdown

At Ward Hadaway we want to play our part by helping UK businesses, organisations and people successfully navigate the current disrupted environment and get us all back to business. To do that we have developed a series of FAQs where we try to provide clear answers to commonly asked questions.

How do I take “all reasonably practicable steps” to protect my employees during the coronavirus outbreak?

Follow up to date UK Government advice. This can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/guidance-for-employers-and-businesses-on-coronavirus-covid-19

For best practice and more detailed information; consult the HSE’s website at https://www.hse.gov.uk/news/coronavirus.htm

Failing to follow the guidance is likely to be regarded as failing to take all reasonably practicable steps.

Do I need to do anything extra to safeguard my employee’s mental health during the Covid-19 outbreak?

Homeworking can cause work-related stress and affect people’s mental health and being away from managers and colleagues could make it difficult to get proper supervision and support.

Encourage your employees to keep in touch. Put procedures in place so you can keep in direct contact with home workers and can recognise signs of stress as early as possible. Use group chat and video chat tools imaginatively.

Have an emergency point of contact and share this so people know how to get help if they need it.

People are much more anxious than usual and may be less productive as a result – recognise this and try to be patient.

I have essential workers who do home visits. How do I assess the risks?

The fundamentals of risk assessment remain the same as for any other foreseeable risk.

Focus on risk controls which reflect Government guidance; social distancing (2 metres) and avoiding contact with occupiers if possible, high-quality PPE – disposable overalls, gloves and fluid repellent surgical face masks, ready access to antibacterial wipes for surfaces, tools and equipment and plentiful hand sanitizer.

Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.

This page may contain links that direct you to third party websites. We have no control over and are not responsible for the content, use by you or availability of those third party websites, for any products or services you buy through those sites or for the treatment of any personal information you provide to the third party.

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Paul Scope

Partner | Employment

+44 (0) 330 137 3167

+44 (0)754 055 6295

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+44 (0) 330 137 3187

+44 (0) 783 488 9938

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0330 137 3188

0770 401 7178

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+44 (0)759 024 5298

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