February 26, 2020
The risk of catching coronavirus in the UK is currently low, but this does not prevent employers from introducing some simple steps in the workplace to help protect the health and safety of their staff, including:
Ensuring managers are aware how to spot symptoms of coronavirus and are confident in all processes such as sickness reporting and sick pay, and procedures in case someone in the workplace develops the virus
Provide hand sanitisers and tissues to staff
Encourage staff to wash their hands with hot water and soap frequently
Consider if any travel planned to affected areas is essential.
ACAS also suggests that employers should have a strategic plan in place should they need to close the workplace temporarily. It is suggested that employers should:
Ask staff who have work laptops or mobile phones to take them home so they can work from home
Arrange paperwork tasks that can be done at home for staff who do not work on computers
Make sure staff have a way to communicate with the employer and their colleagues.
If the coronavirus outbreak deteriorates and workplaces are temporarily closed, employees are entitled to be paid for this time unless their contracts of employment state otherwise.
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