Bosses could face jail if staff catch coronavirus due to dirty workplace, top employment lawyer warns

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BOSSES could face jail if staff catch Covid-19 because of a dirty workplace, a high-level employment lawyer is cautioned.

Many industries are preparing to get back to work. But employers must ensure the safety of workers, including maintaining adequate cleaning routines and social distancing measures.

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Work environments such as this reception room must be set up to ensure the safety of staff against coronavirus (stock)Credit: AFP or licensees

Violations of health and safety law can be treated as civil or criminal cases with unlimited fines or two years’ imprisonment.

Employment lawyer Danielle Parsons of the law firm Slater and Gordon said: “If your workplace is not safe, you are protected when you take certain actions and one of them may refuse to attend your workplace, or assuming you have already done so, you would be able to leave.

“The law protects you when it comes to safety.

“Employers should conduct a risk assessment and put in place a safer work system.”

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Dominic Ponniah, CEO of cleaning company Cleanology, added: “It is the obligation of all employers to keep their employees safe at work.

“Many companies will need to implement a series of measures when they bring workers back to the office, including regular in-depth cleaning and changing floor plans to maintain social distancing rules.

“We all have a role to play in keeping the rate of transmission of the virus as low as possible and helping us ensure that we do not see a second peak of infections in the UK when lockdown decreases.”

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