Returning to work

Returning to work

One key consideration in reopening will be the safety of your staff and volunteers. Your team will need support to help them to feel safe. Make sure that you are consulting with them and involving them in the redesign of your services.

a) Check the government pages on Working Safely During Coronavirus for detailed guidance. The information is updated regularly so check back if there are new announcements, e.g. if new requirements around testing are introduced

b) The Government is no longer instructing people to work from home if they can. However, the Government expects and recommends a gradual return over the summer. Make sure you communicate with your team and provide opportunities for feedback.

c) Identify and speak to members of your team may be unable to return to work due to being classed as clinically extremely vulnerable/clinically vulnerable. What reasonable adjustments can you make to help them work safely from home?  Read the HSE guidance on protecting vulnerable workers.

d) Be mindful of staff and volunteers who live with people from vulnerable groups, have caring commitments have other concerns and who may be anxious about returning to work. Keep equality and diversity issues in mind – what is reasonable for some people might not work for others.

e) In light of emerging evidence that COVID-19 mortality is disproportionately higher in people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, you may decide to complete a risk assessment with BAME staff to identify those at higher risk. Guy's and St Thomas' has published some guidance on how to approach this.

f) Consider adapted working hours to reduce the number of people in the building at any one time and partnering for staff so that the same groups are consistently working together.

g) Develop contingency plans to cover staff or reduce/cancel services if team members become ill, need to self-isolate, or if further lockdown measures are re-introduced

h) Make sure you support the mental wellbeing of all staff through the changes you will need to make. 

i) Consider the role that staff members play in the community in sharing messages about Covid-19 and encouraging preventative measures. Will they need additional training to support them in this role?