Hygiene & Health is having a profound influence on everyone and is consequently what people will look for when for example booking a service, visiting your establishment or using another service sector. But it is also what Employees will look for when returning to work.
Operating standards for safety, security, and cleanliness will be subject to new, elevated expectations.
It is well known now that every business must carry out a specific assessment of the risk of exposure to Covid-19 and to put in the necessary controls and monitor them to ensure they are working. Beyond Level Zero is not removing this requirement, what this level now requires is for businesses to carry out their own risk assessment of mitigating measures and not rely on prescriptive instructions from the government.
Your RTW programme should be bespoke to the organisation and delivered in the context of preserving the health and safety of the workforce. Since COVID-19 is a foreseeable risk, by definition it should become part of the organisation’s duty of care agenda.
Annual Board reporting should include insights on the occupational health and safety implications of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The significant interest in more flexible forms of working, and hybrid working in particular, have created new employee expectations and desires.
Organisations who do not support flexible forms of working may therefore risk increased employee turnover, reduced employee engagement and limitations on the ability to attract talent in the future.
Hybrid working also provides other opportunities for organisations in terms of reducing estate and facilities costs, enabling employee wellbeing, and supporting inclusion and diversity.
Any plan for a return to the workplace needs to include communication and reassurance about COVID-19 safe measures. It will also require ongoing wellbeing support, especially in relation to employees who may be anxious about returning to the workplace or using public transport to commute.
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There are four parts to the thought process of returning to work safely. As the situation evolves, you’ll most likely need to revisit each stage: