Here at Ramsgate Rooms we are very aware that over the next few weeks and months many employees will be returning to their workplaces in line with the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions. A crucial element to consider during this first stage of a return to normality – along with sensible interpretation of relaxed social distancing rules – is that a 2nd wave of infection must not be triggered. It is therefore extremely important that your employer is aware of their legal responsibility to make their workspaces ‘Covid-safe.’
With the government clearly keen to get the UK economy operating again, guidance for workers has changed. Instructions specify that those who are able to go to work should. While essential employees have continued to go to work throughout, many others now need to give the developments some serious thought. Just as our employers are carefully establishing how to move forward, so will we have to find a way of balancing our personal situations with the expectations those who pay our salaries have of us.
Depending on your type of job, bosses will be having to roll out stringent health & safety measures. The government has set out 5 basic steps
that employers need to actively develop before any of their staff set foot on the premises:
1. Risk assessment, consultation and staff updating.
2. Cleaning, handwashing & hygiene procedures.
3. Facilitating home-working.
4. 2-metre social distancing.
5. Managing transmission risk where 2-metre rule is not possible.
Ramsgate Rooms has been investigating the more detailed guidelines for 8 different sectors currently allowed to operate has also been made available – construction/outdoor work, factories, plants & warehouses, labs & research facilities, offices & contact centres, takeaway & food delivery, specific retail, transport & couriers. Reading over the stipulations may help you to decide if your employers are indeed fulfilling their responsibilities. People are being encouraged to join their relevant union for further informed support.
In terms of your own personal situation, other factors to bear in mind will be around personal finances, your travel options and also the health of you and any family members or housemates you may be in contact with. This, coupled with our community responsiblity to not increase risk of infection to others, gives us a lot to think about.