Plan B: What do Employers Need to Know?

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Emma Hornby, Commercial Property Solicitor and Simran Kaur, Private Client Solicitor, talking next to an open window

Last night, the government announced that it will be implementing ‘Plan B’ to address increases in Covid-19 cases over the winter months. There are a number of possible restrictions that may be introduced as a result of the plan however employers should be aware that from Monday (13 December) we will again be advised to work from home where possible.

This means that if an employee’s job is capable of being performed from home and they have the necessary equipment to enable this, they should be encouraged to do so. If an employee could work from home but does not have the relevant equipment, employers should consider whether or not it would be appropriate to make arrangements for them to be able to work from home.

For now this is only guidance, not a legal requirement. Some employers my find that employees would prefer to continue working in the office from time to time. If employers don’t want, or are unable, to close the workplace then they should consider new measures for ensuring Covid-safety. These might include:

  • Closing the workplace to visitors (unless a face to face visit is essential);
  • Asking employees to wear masks;
  • Requiring lateral flow tests to be carried out regularly or before attending the workplace.

Employees who must attend the workplace in order to perform their job, such as those in hospitality and retail, will still be required to attend work therefore their employers should review their Covid risk assessments and consider what further measures they could implement to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

If you would like help updating your Covid-19 policy or assistance with any employee concerns regarding Plan B, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

(December 2021)