Guidance for employers regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19)

Andrew Masters

Partner & Head of Employment

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March 19, 2020

Categories Coronavirus (COVID-19)Employment Law

With more cases of coronavirus (COVID-19), being reported in the UK each day, employers will be wondering how to handle the ever changing situation. Employers must be prepared to act fast as the situation develops.

The best way for employers to keep abreast of the current advice is by visiting regularly:

This website, with information from Public Health England and Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, provides up to date guidance on the coronavirus, COVID-19. This includes:

  • how to help prevent spread of all respiratory infections;
  • what to do if someone at work is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19;
  • what advice to give to individuals who have travelled to specific areas; and
  • actions to take if staff come into contact with someone who is self-isolating or is a possible or confirmed case of COVID-19.

The latest position

The latest advice from the government is that where possible, individuals should work from home. In addition, their advice to avoid public places such as pubs, theatres and clubs has created a lot of uncertainty for those industries. We recommend:

  • Encourage working from home where possible;
  • Where it is not possible, try to ensure your workforce have adequate space between them;
  • Clean environments regularly and inform and encourage all staff to keep following government guidance regarding hand washing and other measures to avoid the spread of COVID-19; and
  • Avoid taking rash decisions to let your staff go – the government have announced, and have stated further support for employers and individuals will be announced shortly.

What steps can be taken now?

Communication between an organization and its workforce at uncertain times is crucial. If you haven’t already, consider creating a coronavirus specific policy. This can include:

  • Confirmation regarding sick leave and pay;
  • Measures your organization have taken to ensure the safety of its workforce and customers;
  • Working from home provisions; and
  • Employee obligations.

If you have any concerns, as a business or a worker, please seek advice before making any decisions.

We can assist with advice in order to protect your business and workforce, both in the short term and long term.