Throughout July 2020, the Government further updated its guidance on working safely during the Coronavirus pandemic. This guidance was first published on 11 May 2020 and applies to businesses in England.
Below is a summary of the main changes and clarifications:
- Facilitating verbal communication
Employers are encouraged to take steps to avoid individuals needing to unduly raise their voices to each other in the workplace. This includes, but is not limited to, refraining from playing music or broadcasts that may encourage shouting, including if played at a volume that makes normal conversation difficult. This is because of the potential for increased risk of transmission, particularly from aerial transmission.
- Keeping records of staff and customers
Employers are advised to ensure that their employment records are up to date, so that if a local Public Health England (PHE) health protection team declares an outbreak of Covid-19, they can record details of symptomatic staff and assist with identifying contacts. Where customers attend workplaces, such as in restaurants, hotels and hairdressers, employers are requested to keep temporary records of their customers and visitors for 21 days to help NHS Test and Trace with requests for that data if needed. For employers with premises, such as construction sites, factories, laboratories, warehouses and offices, they are also requested to keep temporary records of staff shift patterns for 21 days for the same purpose.
- Outbreaks in the workplace
As part of their risk assessment, employers are advised to have an up to date outbreak plan, as well as a nominated single point of contact (SPOC) where possible who will lead on contacting Public Health teams. If there is more than one case of Covid-19 associated with a workplace, employers should contact their local PHE health protection team to report the suspected outbreak. If the local PHE health protection team declares an outbreak, employers will be asked to record details of symptomatic staff and assist with identifying contacts.
We will continue to monitor the situation and provide further updates as they become available.
Please note that this blog is provided for general information only. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content of this blog.
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