Welsh Prime Minister Mark Drakeford made it clear that he did not want businesses to be closed, but said it was essential to put the well-being of their employees first.
Employees across the UK at workplaces, including call centers, factories and construction sites, have expressed concern that they cannot be kept at a safe distance from their colleagues.
Drakeford said the Welsh government had listened to workers’ fears and would be the first in the UK to pass new legislation requiring employers to take “all reasonable steps” to comply with the 2-meter rule.
The Prime Minister has said the regulations will take effect Monday or Tuesday next week and that new guidelines will be issued to make sure employers understand what is expected of them.
He said, “It’s just a matter of telling employers that they need to prioritize the needs of their workforce. Their health and well-being must be a top priority.
“We have heard messages from some people that they fear how their health is compromised at work.”
The GMB union welcomed the move and called on the UK government to follow suit.
Dan Shears, director of health, safety and environment at GMB, said many employers have so far ignored the rule. “These companies will now have to go online or fear the consequences.”