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In order to cope with the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and maintain essential transport, a number of relaxations have been made by the Department for Transport (DfT). The Senior Traffic Commissioner has also published a set of temporary updates to certain of the existing Statutory Documents that provide guidance to Traffic Commissioners when dealing with regulatory issues. These relaxations apply to England, Scotland and Wales only, as the arrangements for Northern Ireland are devolved.
In its COVID-19 Recovery Strategy, the Government set out a three-step approach to bringing England gradually out of lockdown, with the first stage involving a return to the workplace for those who are unable to work from home. It has emphasised that this is dependent on employers and their staff agreeing that this can be done safely. In that context, it has produced a series of guidance document giving advice on how this aim can be achieved in various sectors and industries.
On Sunday 10 May 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated that he had been working on guidance for employers in England on how workplaces can remain COVID-19 secure. This guidance was released on Monday 11 May 2020 as eight documents, each covering different sectors. There are some commonalities covering every sector.
In this article, we cover what measures employers may wish to put in place when re-opening the workplace, relating to revising working methods, employee training and absence management, as well as some of the more common HR considerations. The first part of this article covered matters relating to hygiene, cleaning and social distancing.
John Davison explains the Government COVID-19 assistance available to businesses announced to date. It is expected that further measures will be revealed and some detail of the assistance is not yet available. The situation is further complicated as there are different assistance packages for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, mainly effecting rates relief and grants.
As the COVID-19 emergency evolves, understanding your changing occupational health and safety responsibilities becomes more challenging. There is a lot of guidance from the Health and Safety Executive continually being updated online. Jon Herbert reports.