This toolkit provides step-by-step guidance for managing the coronavirus in the workplace. It provides links to key information and templates on the website. This 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”.

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.

What should you do as an employer?

  1. Encourage staff to stay healthy by communicating how to avoid infection through good hygiene and social distancing. Handwashing — more complicated than you think

  2. Ensure that one person is responsible for keeping abreast of developments from the World Health Organization, the UK Government and the NHS and communicate to staff as needed.

  3. Consider how best to keep the organisation up and running despite challenges. Organisations will usually have plans in place to cover such scenarios. Emergency Management

  4. Implement a policy — the effects of the pandemic could last months. Organisations may recognise the need to have a separate pandemic recovery plan and procedure which focuses on a short-term recovery programme. Coronavirus (COVID-19) Recovery Plan Policy

  5. Review your HR policies, being mindful that setting overly harsh policies around remuneration may not work in the employer’s favour. Pay and self-isolation

  6. Communicate to staff regarding the organisation's pay policies and keep up to date with the latest Government legislation regarding Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). Coronavirus, self-isolation and sick pay

  7. Some employers may decide to offer a period of paid annual leave or unpaid leave, or allow employees to work from home where possible. Homeworking and Teleworking

  8. Continually review work processes and see if any can be adapted to better safeguard staff. Eight essential coronavirus Q&As

  9. Be prepared to act quickly to deal with employees who may have been exposed to the virus to help contain the virus. Sickness Absence

  10. Consider whether the Government’s Furlough and Job Retention Scheme may be an appropriate measure throughout the pandemic. An initial look at furlough and the Job Retention Scheme

Useful Q&As

Last reviewed 22 May 2020