Ben Wallace, the UK’s defence secretary, in a round of broadcast interviews has detailed what the potential workplace rules could be when the UK begins to ease out of the current lockdown. Tara Pilkington brings you four things that you need to know.
As the UK looks to explore how it can ease the current lockdown conditions and allow people to slowly go back to work, there have been a lot of discussions regarding what changes will be made to ensure workers safety, especially in instances where maintaining social distancing is not possible.
Here are four things which you need to know, including changes that you may see in your offices and workplaces:
- Employees may be able to return to work with physical shields to separate them from their colleagues. Ben Wallace, the defence secretary, has said: “Potentially, shields or PPE is a way forward”.
- Where possible, companies should maximise ‘home-working’ and use hot desking for employees who are in the office in order to reduce physical contact as much as possible.
- Staggered shift times should be introduced to reduce ‘rush hour’ traffic. This comes after transport secretary, Grant Shapps, also suggested one-way systems for commuters to avoid overwhelming the transport system.
- Trains, busses and transport interchanges may soon be equipped with hand-sanitiser as washing hands remains a priority in the effort to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
The government is also currently sourcing more facemasks, however Wallace has stressed that these should be distributed to key workers first, and has argued that they only make a marginal difference.
Adam Marshall, the director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We need as much specificity as possible so businesses can ensure they’ve taken all the steps they can in order to protect their people.
He added: “ They (bosses) will want to know that they’re not going to be held liable to horrible things that may unfortunately happen if they’ve done everything in their power to keep their people safe.
“Whereas by contrast, you’d want to see those employers who didn’t take adequate steps face the consequences of that so the question of legal liability is extremely important.”