To assist you in managing the coronavirus in the workplace this toolkit provides links to key information and templates on the website. The information is being continually checked and updated.

Coronavirus

The World Health Organization (WHO) explains that coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). This particular episode, which first appeared in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, has been named “COVID-19”.

Symptoms include a fever, cough and shortness of breath. Some may suffer from a mild illness and recover easily, while in other cases, infection can progress to pneumonia. Reports suggest that the elderly, those with weakened immune systems, diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease are the most susceptible to serious illness and death. Symptoms can appear in as few as two days after infection or as long as 14 days.

Employer duties

Employers should remember that they have a duty of care towards their employees and should take reasonable steps to protect the health and safety of their workforce, preventing them from exposing themselves to unnecessary risk. On 22 September 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that office workers should once again be able to work from home if they can in England – this default position had remained the same in Scotland and Wales. Generally, priority for employers in England is now likely to be implementing homeworking again.

Key issues

Last reviewed 23 September 2020