MINISTERS have revealed a five-step plan to try and keep all workplaces safe from coronavirus.
New ‘COVID-19 secure’ guidelines are now available to UK employers to help them get their businesses back up and running and workplaces operating as safely as possible.
New rules to get back to work have been issued to businesses tonight
Brits are facing massive changes when they go back to work as employers are urged to minimise the risk of a second peak.
Boris Johnson said yesterday he wants more people to start going back to work if they can’t do their jobs from home.
In heaps of paperwork published online this evening, ministers published eight documents for firms from office for takeaways to follow to stop their employees spreading the bug to others.
Every workplace with more than five people in it will have to do a coronavirus health and safety audit.
And they will be urged to speak with their staff and unions to make sure they feel safe in their workplace, too.
Companies will be expected to use floor tape to help staff maintain two metres apart, put screens between people, and provide packaged meals to avoid opening staff canteens.
Hotels and Restaurants will be asked to keep bar areas closed, and continue to only do takeaways, and also ask customers to wait outside for their meals.
Shops will be asked to encourage customers to come alone, as well as to work with other outlets to manage shared queuing areas.
All businesses will be urged to make sure staff wash their hands more, and surfaces get extra cleaning.
Firms should encourage as many people as possible to work from home while they can.
If they can’t, they should carefully consider whether the tasks should go ahead as planned.
“No one is obliged to work in an unsafe work environment,” the documents state.
Boris has urged people who can to go back to work
When employees can’t safely stay two metres apart to work they should consider using shields, limiting the time doing work, work side to side or back to back instead, or work in fixed teams to limit their contact with others.
They can also consider wearing masks to carry out their work.
The documents are released after consultation with Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive.
An extra £14million in funding will be given to Health and Safety bosses for extra staff, call centre employees, to carry out spot inspections and check that firms are following the rules.
They could face fines if they refuse to comply.
There’s no specific date for when the measures should be put in place, only as soon as it’s practically possible to do so.
The guidance is currently only for workplaces that are open or partially open, but more will come in the next few days.
Business Secretary Alok Sharma said today: “This guidance provides a framework to get the UK back to work in a way that is safe for everyone.
“These are practical steps to enable employers to identify risks that COVID-19 creates and to take pragmatic measures to mitigate them.
“And as we are able to reopen new sectors of the economy, we will continue our collaborative approach working with a wide range of stakeholders, to provide guidance for additional workplaces.”
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