Prepare Your Mangers for likely questions and managing the emotional ups and downs of the team upon returning to work during COVID-19. It would be a mistake to expect employees to return back to normal as soon as lockdown restrictions are lifted. It’s important to recognise that we are going through a crisis and for some, it may be traumatic. It will require your managers to reassure employees. Help them be prepared to do so.
Here are some likely questions that you and your managers will be faced with, along with our guidance on how to answer them:
Yes, your employer is under no obligation to furlough employees, they can request you return to work at any point during the furlough period. Your employer has a duty of care towards all employees and they will have to ensure that all their sites are practicing social distancing practices as reiterated by the government.
Your employer cannot make you return, if you have received a letter from the NHS advising you to remain home you should provide a copy of this to your employer and request you remain a furloughed employee. If you have a child of school age that is not at school you can request that you remain a furloughed employee to care for your child. If you simply do not want to return to work because you have anxieties, discuss these with your employer, they may be able to put your mind at rest, if after discussing with your employer you still do not want to return to work at the current time you will be unpaid for the period of time you remain absent.
The government have insisted some sectors of business close to try and prevent the spread of coronavirus, they however, have advised that businesses can continue to operate as long as they are following the social distancing obligations and are limiting the spread of coronavirus as much as possible.
If you think you are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 and you have been asked to return to work you should inform you employer you are not available for work and are either self-isolating for the required period and or following the guidance on testing, as you may be eligible to receive a test.
If you, or a member of your household has received a letter from the NHS you can continue to shield for the relevant period advised, you can request that you remain furloughed for this period of time. By receiving a letter from the NHS your condition means you are in the highly vulnerable group.
Highly vulnerable includes:
There are some health conditions that fall into the vulnerable group but are not classed as highly vulnerable. Vulnerable employees are able to continue working, or their partner continuing to work, as long as they follow the social distancing guidance. Some people will need to undergo an additional health and safety risk assessment to ensure it is safe to continue to work in the same role/area, pregnancy will class an employee as vulnerable, and will be one of those areas where an additional risk assessment should be conducted.
Share this information with your team. You can download a PDF of these FAQs here.
We will respond to your call back within 24 hours during business working hours×