Data shows that outbreaks in England's offices in lockdown are major contributor to spread of Covid.
We are pleased to confirm that the majority of our clients have followed our advice and support and have implemented Government advice to ensure their businesses premises and activities are COVID Secure. Not only successfully completing and communicating to staff and visitors their COVID-19 risk assessments and controls, but also redesigning their work place, creating staff bubbles to limit or eliminate interaction and revising working hours to stagger start and finish times.
It is importantly that these risk assessments are being reviewed at least monthly to take into account changes to rules as well as the new Covid variants. The employer must ensure that communication with staff is maintained, reminding and re-enforcing safe working practices.
Outbreaks across Park City clients have generally been a rare occurrence, thankfully, but despite the best efforts of our clients in following the advice and guidance, there have been some outbreaks, such is the nature of this highly contagious virus.
So, it’s with no surprise to us that some latest data confirms that Offices have been responsible for significant Covid spread.
“Public Health England figures, obtained via a Freedom of Information request, suggests offices have had more outbreaks compared to other workplaces” the report states, “The figures reveal for the first time which are the most susceptible to COVID outbreaks, with offices coming top.”
So, we would remind clients and readers alike, that your first decision must be taken from a moral perspective, “do we need our staff at work?”. The Government advice is clear in respect to working from home, if you can, you must and should do so until the spring, employers are required to facilitate this.
There is now an increasing number of companies being reported for not only Covid secure workplace breaches but also asking staff to work in the office or at the business premises when previously working from home in lockdown 1 and 2 or just ignoring government rules when staff could easily work from home with the correct IT and technical support. The Health and Safety Executive received nearly 4,000 Covid-related complaints about workplaces in January.
Our simple reminder to you all is:
Read the full story of what the data has confirmed, follow this link.
On another note, there are also an increasing number of cases where staff and employers are ignoring their legal duties to self isolate as a result of receiving positive tests, less easy to do or ignore if you have been contracted by test and trace but with the number of employers using private testing there is a possibility that a positive test may be simply ignored in an attempt to protect jobs or preserve earnings , so our advice for employers is to use the Government advice and remind staff of their legal duties, as ignoring their or your legal duties, risks fines from the courts for both staff and the employer, more importantly ignoring self isolation requirements will result in spreading the virus to others, putting lives at risk. Please re read the advice and communicate this to staff.
Guidance for contacts of people with confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection who do not live with the person
COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection
NHS Test and Trace in the workplace
Guidance on what to do if you or someone you employ is contacted by NHS Test and Trace, including self-isolation and financial support.
Please remember you are not alone at this time, as a business leader or manager the decisions and the responses to the changing situation with Covid is challenging. The Vaccine offers a tangible way back to the life we all remember, however the route to normality will be long and whilst we step towards the end of lockdown and an easing of restrictions we all have a responsibility to follow the guidance and continue to implement the revisions and improvements to protect our Businesses, our staff and other people that we come into contact through the activities of our respective businesses.
Park City is here to help and support you, there is not doubt we are stronger together.
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