Covid-19: Business Restart and Working Safely
As you begin to make restart plans to reopen and resume trading, the Growth Hub appreciates that changes will be needed in your business to trade safely and successfully. We have compiled a list of suppliers who might be able to help, this list is not exhaustive and we encourage you to conduct your own research before engaging with the companies below.
We are also running a series of Working Safely webinars which are focused on specific sectors and have expert speakers.
As you plan to restart your business, finance may prove more important than before. When seeking financial guidance it is important to know that you are receiving advice from a qualified professional, if you already have an accountant or business banking manager, we advise contacting them in the first instance as they already know your business.
If you are interested in the financial support schemes available for businesses during Covid-19, please visit this page.
|Voisey & Co||Warrington||www.voisey.co.uk|
As you start to plan for your business restart, you may find you are facing legal questions which you may not have needed to consider previously, in particular related to employment rights, duty of care, late payments and arrears.
|SAS Daniels LLP||Across Cheshire||www.sasdaniels.co.uk/|
As you start to plan for your business restart, it is likely that you may encounter unexpected problems and unforeseen circumstances that impact employees and their performance.
Health & Safety
Expectations and responsibilities for your business around health and safety may have increased and you need to make sure you are operating in a way that ensures the safety of your staff and customers and maintains social distancing.
|Chester Health & Safety||Chester||www.chesterhealthandsafety.co.uk|
As your business begins to restart, certain businesses may consider recruiting temporary staff to meet demand and fill new roles.
Depending on the type of business, different equipment, hygiene products, social distancing warnings and safe working layouts may be needed to keep employees and customers safe. Finding suppliers for this equipment or finding specialists who can advise your business on how to return safely is an important consideration.
PPE and Hygienie Supplies
|Cleaning Supplies 2 U||Winsford||www.cleaningsupplies2u.co.uk/|
Crowd Management and Social Distancing
Office Design Specialists
On the 10th May, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the first steps to modify lockdown measures. this is based on the government’s roadmap for how and when the UK will adjust its response to the COVID-19 crisis. The government also published a guide on staying alert and safe (social distancing).
The Prime Minister stated that businesses where employees can work from home, should continue to do so but that anyone who can’t work from home, for instance those in construction or manufacturing, should be actively encouraged to go to work.
The government have released guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic. The government, in consultation with industry, has produced guidance to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible. These 8 guides cover a range of different types of work.
We have also compiled a list of other useful resources for considering how you can prepare your business to be COVID-secure, when you are allowed to open your business.
Health Safety Executive
- Latest information and advice about Covid-19 and health and safety
- Latest information about Covid-19 and social distancing, keeping businesses open and in-work activities.
- Latest information about protecting home workers
- A guide for talking with your workers about preventing coronavirus
- A short guide about working safely during the coronavirus outbreak
Working in Construction and Outdoor Work
- Government information and guidance about working safely in the construction sector and other outdoor work
- BuildUK have compiled a list of useful resources and guidance for the construction sector
Working in Factories,Plants and Warehouses
- Government information and guidance about working safely in factories,plants and warehouses
- British Retail Consortium’s guide to social distancing in warehouses
Working in Other People’s Homes
- Government information and guidance about working safely in other people’s homes
Labs and Research Facilities
- Government information and guidance about working safely in labs and research facilities
Offices and Contact Centres
- Government information and guidance about working safely in offices and contact centres
Restaurants Offering Takeaway or Delivery
- Government information and guidance about working safely in restaurants offering takeaway or delivery
Shops and Branches
- Outdoor markets and car showrooms will be able to reopen from 1 June, as soon as they are able to meet the COVID-19 secure guidelines to protect shoppers and workers. As with garden centres, the risk of transmission of the virus is lower in these outdoor and more open spaces. Car showrooms often have significant outdoor space and it is generally easier to apply social distancing.
- All other non-essential retail including shops selling clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, books, and electronics, plus tailors, auction houses, photography studios, and indoor markets, will be expected to be able to reopen from 15 June if the Government’s five tests are met and they follow the COVID-19 secure guidelines, giving them three weeks to prepare.
- Government information and guidance about working safely in shops and branches
- British Retail Consortium’s guide to social distancing in shops
- Government information and guidance about working safely in vehicles
Education and childcare settings
The government have worked closely with the sector, and will continue to do so over the coming weeks to support the wider opening of schools, colleges and childcare settings. In the guidance below, government are are setting out the overarching aims and principles of this next phase, including information about protective measures which will be in place.
- Government information and guidance about reopening in the education and childcare sectors can be found here
Test and Trace
NHS Test and Trace service to form a central part of the government’s coronavirus recovery strategy. Anyone with symptoms will be tested and their close contacts will be traced. New guidance means those who have been in close contact with someone who tests positive must isolate for 14 days, even if they have no symptoms, to avoid unknowingly spreading the virus. Test and Trace guidance for workplaces can be found here.
My staff are exposed to people every day, are they more likely to be told to self isolate?
• It is important for employers to play their part by making workplaces as safe as possible and by following the 5 steps to working safely.
If a staff member is notified, do they have to report to us?
• If an employee is notified to self-isolate for 14 days because they have come into close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus, and are unable to work as a result, they should notify you that they are unable to work within the deadline you have set in you sickness absence policies (or normally within 7 days if you have not set one).
Will my whole workforce be told to self-isolate if someone tests positive?
• Only those who have had close recent contact with someone who then tests positive for COVID-19 will be asked to self-isolate.
What’s the minimum and maximum time an employee can be told to self-isolate for?
• As now, those who test positive for coronavirus will be asked to isolate for 7 days from the onset of symptoms and only stop isolating from day 8 once they have been fever free for 48 hours without medication.
• Those who have had close recent contact with someone who went on to test positive for coronavirus will be asked to self-isolate for the period ending 14 days after they came into contact with the person who has tested positive.
Travelling to and from work
Coronavirus (COVID-19): safer transport guidance for operators – This guide will help businesses, agencies and others understand how to provide safer workplaces and services for themselves, their workers and passengers across all modes of private and public transport. It outlines measures to assess and address the risks of coronavirus in the transport sector across England.
Guidance for passengers on how to travel safely – This guidance provides advice on how passengers should make journeys safely. The advice sets out that if people who cannot work from home and have to travel for work, they should first consider alternatives to public transport. Those driving their own cars have been asked to avoid busy areas. For those who have to use public transport, the guidance recommends:
- Keeping 2 metres apart wherever possible;
- Wearing a face covering if you can;
- Using contactless payment where possible;
- Avoiding rush hour travel where feasible;
- Washing or sanitising your hands as soon as possible before and after travel;
- Following advice from staff and being considerate to others.
All the latest guidance for people using transport or working in the transport sector during the coronavirus outbreak can be found here.