How to remain COVID-compliant if you’re operating through lockdown

Please Note: All information correct at time of writing on 28 January 2021. We do our very best to make sure our information is as up to date as possible, but we’d encourage you to check the relevant government websites for updates as they happen.

The third national lockdown announced on the 4 January 2021 has forced many businesses to close their doors again. We know that the businesses who have had to shut up shop are under a huge amount of pressure to continue productivity and efficiency, but if you’re carrying on operating through the lockdown, it can be just as tough, if not more.

You should have implemented effective COVID-secure measures and policies into your business after the first lockdown to prevent the spread of infection. If you’re operating through the third lockdown, you need to make sure you’re complying with the new COVID rules to protect everyone on your premises.

To make sure you’re ticking every single box when it comes to compliance, we’ve outlined the key questions you should be asking yourself in this article.

What do I do if my employee has symptoms of COVID-19?

In line with government guidance, if an employee has symptoms of the virus, they must go home and self-isolate immediately to avoid putting any of their team at risk of catching it. In such a difficult time, it’s important you’re encouraging your people who are feeling under the weather with COVID symptoms to stay at home at all costs.

If you’re an existing client of ours and have any questions on managing virus symptoms or positive COVID tests in the workplace, you can call our advice line on 0345 844 4848.

The symptomatic person may also be asked by NHS Test and Trace services to provide details of anyone who they have been in close recent close contact. It would be sensible you to gather information on any possible work-related close contact to support NHS Test and Trace. Need more info? Check out the government’s guidance on confidentiality and informing close contacts here.

Conducting COVID-secure Risk Assessments

Making sure your workplace is completely safe is a huge task to take on especially when you have the added stresses of day-to-day employer responsibilities, but it’s an essential step to protecting everyone on site and remaining compliant.

With a third national lockdown in place and the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) carrying out more spot checks, your workplace needs to be COVID-secure for the safety and wellbeing of your staff, customers and business or you could face hefty fines or even worse, the closure of your business.

As with any other form of Risk Assessment, it’s essential to engage your employees in the creation of your COVID-specific risk assessment. That way, you can take in any of their concerns, and make sure that when you perform your Risk Assessment, you’re considering every eventuality and risks you may not have already thought of.

This then helps to give your employees the reassurance that they’re safe when working.

Using face coverings in your business

Whether your people work on a site or you run a customer-facing business, you’ll have to implement some sort of face covering, PPE or RPE into your workplace.

If your employees are required to wear a face covering to carry out their everyday role, you need to make sure they’re:
a) wearing it correctly
b) wearing it when needed
c) trained on the type of protection they need to be wearing

We understand that it can be confusing at times when there are so many different options out there but if you’ve found that you needed to enforce PPE, RPE or face coverings into the workplace after your Risk Assessments, you need to get it right first time.

If you’re an existing client of ours and are unsure about the protective measures you’ve introduced into your workplace or you just want to make sure you’re 100% compliant, check out your Atlas portal for our experts’ advice on how to select the appropriate protective measures for your business.

Your next steps

We know that the pandemic has disrupted businesses worldwide with a third national lockdown in place and making sure you’ve covered all the bases of keeping your business COVID-compliant can be an overwhelming responsibility.

To take the pressure away, our experts have briefly summarised all the steps you should take in our five-point action plan.

Keeping you updated on how to protect your business through COVID-19

These are uncertain times, especially for employers and business owners. Our HR and Employment Law experts are tracking the news and latest government updates to help you understand what’s available to you to keep your business running throughout the coming weeks of changes.

Keep an eye on our latest articlesfree guides and social media for more advice and guidance. And if you’re already a Citation client, you can call our advice line on 0345 844 4848.

If you’re not yet a client of ours and you want the advice and backing of a team of HR and Employment Law experts feel free to give our team a call on 0345 844 1111 to talk through your business needs. Or simply fill out your details in the form opposite and we’ll be in touch as soon as possible.

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