Updated Information on how small businesses and the self-employed can weather Covid 19 – May 12th, 2020

Last night the government released guidance on how business owners can make their workplace safe for staff and customers which consisted of 5 key points:

  1. Work from home if you can:
    The message is still that if at all possible, people should continue to work from home.
  2. Carry out a Covid-19 risk assessment, in consultation with workers or trade unions:
    Employers will need to carry out covid-19 risk assessments to establish what guidelines need to be put into place. The government is asking that owners publish their results on their websites, and all businesses with over 50 employees must do so.
  3. Maintain 2 metres social distancing where possible:
    Employers are being asked to re-design their workspace so that it’s possible for everyone to have 2 metres between them – this could be done by staggering start times, having one-way walkthroughs, or changing seating layouts.
  4. Where you cannot maintain 2 metres social distancing, manage transmission risk:
    If the workspace cannot be redesigned to ensure a 2 metres social distancing, then employers should look at putting actual barriers in place to help this – shift patterns, less staff in the building, making it so staff aren’t facing each other.
  5. Reinforcing cleaning processes:
    Owners will need to ensure that their workplaces are cleaned more frequently and provide handwashing facilities or hand sanitiser at entry and exit points. A downloadable notice has been included in the guidance documents for employers to display in their workplace.

The whole article can be read here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-guidance-launched-to-help-get-brits-safely-back-to-work?utm_source=9b81f82c-c1c9-4121-9d1b-3456ead7138c&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

The government has also then published 8 documents (one for each sector) on specific guidance that those types of businesses must follow. If your business falls under more than one category, you will need to ensure you follow all of the guidance in all of the guides:

Construction and other outdoor work: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/construction-and-other-outdoor-work

Factories, plants and warehouses: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/factories-plants-and-warehouses

Labs and Research Facilities: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/labs-and-research-facilities

Offices and contact centres: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/offices-and-contact-centres

Other people’s homes: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/homes

Restaurants offering takeaway or delivery: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/restaurants-offering-takeaway-or-delivery

Shops and branches: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/shops-and-branches

Vehicles: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/vehicles

Each of the documents covers things like how to use the guidance, what do they mean by that category, thinking about the risk, who should go to work, social distancing, managing customers, visitors, staff, cleaning, PPE, managing your workforce, inbound and outbound goods and where to obtain further guidance.

It is important that you make sure that you are following the latest guidance in regards to keeping staff and customers safe. Spot checks will be made on businesses that open to ensure they are following the guidance.

It is important to note that the businesses that can open from May 13th are still limited to only those in essential retail, this does not include pubs, cinemas or hairdressers.

It is really important that everyone understands that at any point in time, the restrictions can be brought into force again with very little notice.

I am continually monitoring the updates that the government and other business-related departments release and will continue to share that information for as long as I feel that it is beneficial to all businesses in the UK.

The information and policies are continually being updated by the government, so I urge you to keep on top of the information by visiting the relevant website for your area.

UK:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses
Scotland: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/
Wales: https://gov.wales/business-and-employers-coronavirus
Northern Ireland: https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/

I will be trying to keep myself as informed as possible and will share relevant information on my fb business page: https://www.facebook.com/ihelmenterprises/