Stay alert and work safe
Wednesday, May 13, 2020
With the announcement from the Prime Minister on Sunday (10th May 2020), instructing those who can't work from home to consider going back to work, it's important to listen to the guidance and stay alert but even more vital to work safely. Here's some information you might find useful.
Even though Boris Johnson has mentioned that those who can't work from home should think about returning to work, this doesn't mean you have to. It's important you first speak to your employer and understand their position on the latest news. Indeed, some employers may feel that, due to the necessary infrastructure needed to operate, implementing new COVID safety measures is still not feasible at this stage.
If your employer has asked you to return to work.
- Make sure you have full clarity on how your employer is going to meet COVID safety measures. Ideally your employer should provide all employees with guidance (in writing) on the changes they have undertaken to meet the necessary safety measures
- If your work environment feels unsafe or in breach of COVID safety measures, you must report this straight away to management who should take the necessary measures to fix the problem
- If improvements aren't made to fix these issues, or your employer states that they can't make anymore changes than they already have (due to the nature of the business operation), you should weigh up your options. Take more time to think again about whether or not you feel safe to carry out your job role
- If you still feel unsafe; Yesterday (12th May 2020) the Chancellor extended the furlough scheme until the end of October. You have a right to request you remain / be put back on to the furlough scheme.
- Your employer should action your wishes.
Although you may have been told to 'think' about returning to work, the responsibility is with your employer to ensure your safety. Do not feel pressured to jump back in to work until your employer can put your mind at ease that you'll be able to carry out your duties in a safe environment.
GOVERNMENT COVID SAFETY MEASURE GUIDANCE CAN BE VIEWED BY CLICKING THIS LINK
A COMPREHENSIVE UPDATE ON THE FURLOUGH SCHEME EXTENSION CAN BE FOUND ON THE BBC WEBSITE BY CLICKING HERE
Does returning to work leave you with childcare issues?
With the furlough scheme extended, Boris Johnson has made it clear that if your employer requires you to return to work, yet you do not have suitable childcare cover that enables you to do so; your employer should deem this as a reasonable hurdle and utilise the furlough scheme to keep you employed. This should remain the case until restrictions change which make childcare possible or the furlough scheme ends.
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