The workplace guidelines are FINALLY published a few days before the lockdown ends and look remarkably similar to the OLD rules – .

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The workplace guidelines are FINALLY published a few days before the lockdown ends and look remarkably similar to the OLD rules – .


Companies should consider keeping staff wearing masks indoors even after the lockdown ends, according to new Covid government guidelines released tonight.

Documents published online just days before the July 19 unlock also suggest workplaces are maintaining social distancing measures like plastic screens and back-to-back desks in an attempt to appease nervous workers.

They appear to be suggesting that companies introduce ‘fixed teams or partnerships’ to reduce the threat of the coronavirus spreading through their workforce, – which echoes the Covid bubbles in place during this year’s full lockdown. .

The guidelines appear likely to set the stage for furious battles between employees and their staff in the days and weeks to come regarding how often they can return to their primary workplace and how it should be put in place. .

He told bosses, “You should discuss a return to work with workers and unions to make work arrangements that meet the needs of businesses and individuals.

“Employers and others must continue to meet legal health and safety requirements, conduct a risk assessment and take reasonable steps to manage risks in their workplace or environment. ”

Unions and employers criticized the guidelines, warning that it was a “recipe for chaos”.

Companies should consider keeping staff wearing masks indoors even after the lockdown ends, according to new Covid government guidelines released tonight.

Documents published online just days before the July 19 unlock also suggest workplaces are maintaining social distancing measures like plastic screens and back-to-back desks in a bid to appease nervous workers.

Old rules V new directions

Old rules

  • Work from home unless it is unreasonable for you to do so
  • Ensure adequate ventilation… provide fresh air in an enclosed space.
  • Arrange workspaces to separate staff. Consider using gates to separate people and introducing back-to-back or side-to-side work.
  • Face coverings are not compulsory in offices. However, they are required for customers and the staff of some companies who have direct contact with customers.
  • By carpooling… share the car with the same people each time and, if possible, only with members of your household or supportive bubble… open the windows for ventilation… travel side by side or behind other people, rather than facing them, where the seating arrangement allows them to face each other

New orientation

  • Return to work, but gradually over the summer.
  • Maximize the supply of fresh air to your premises.
  • (Consider) reviewing layouts, using screens or fences to separate people from each other, or using back-to-back or side-to-side work.
  • Consider encouraging the use of face coverings by workers, especially in indoor areas where they may come into contact with people they don’t normally meet.
  • Encourage people traveling together in the same vehicle to, where possible: use fixed travel partners, do not sit face to face (and open) windows

Dr Roger Barker, director of policy at the Institute of Directors, said: “Like everyone else, businesses across the country have been looking forward to ‘Freedom Day’, but instead we have had a series of mixed messages and patchwork demands from government that dampened that enthusiasm.

“Go back to work or continue to stay at home. Throw away your masks or continue to wear them. The long-awaited directives from the government today have done little to clear up this confusion.

“While it is fair that companies are allowed to make decisions based on their unique circumstances, it is essential that the government provide companies with the best practices for developing their own policies.

“However, business leaders are understandably confused about the legal status of this guide and are concerned about the vulnerability under health and safety legislation, as well as the validity of their insurance. “

The guidelines apply to “offices, factories, factories, warehouses, laboratories and research facilities and similar indoor environments”.

On the masks, he notes that their use will no longer be compulsory indoors in England. But he adds: Consider encouraging the use of face coverings by workers (for example through signage), especially in interior areas where they may come into contact with people they don’t normally meet.

“This is especially important in confined and overcrowded spaces.

“When deciding whether to require workers or clients to wear face coverings, you will need to consider the reasonable adjustments needed for staff and clients with disabilities.

“You will also need to carefully consider how this fits in with other obligations to workers and customers under labor rights, health and safety and equality legislation. “

On the layout of the offices, he indicates that there will no longer be any social distancing rules, but “Covid-19 can still be spread by social contact”

“You can mitigate this risk by reducing the number of people your workers come into contact with,” he adds.

“Examples of ways to do this include reducing the number of people each person comes in contact with by using ‘fixed teams or partnerships’ or ‘cohortation’ (so that each person only works with a few others. ) …

“(And) review layouts, use screens or fences to separate people from each other, or use work back to back or side to side, instead of face to face (screens are only likely to be beneficial only if they are placed between people who will come in close proximity with each one).

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “We all want the economy to unblock as quickly as possible, but these new back-to-work safety guidelines are a recipe for chaos and escalation. infections.

“They were released without proper consultation with unions or employers, just two full working days before the restrictions ended on Monday.

“Instead of providing clear and consistent advice on how to keep staff safe at work, the government is abandoning workers and employers.

“As infection rates increase, every employer is required by law to conduct a thorough risk assessment and take action to keep their workers safe.

“But these inadequate guidelines will leave many employers with more questions than answers and worry about their liability if they get it wrong. “

Ms O’Grady said wearing face coverings should remain a legal requirement on public transport and in shops.

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