As the Government continues the easing of lockdown, we take you through the key points of the latest announcements:
- From 1st August extremely vulnerable people who are most at risk will no longer need to shield and (if they can’t work from home) they can return to work. However their workplace must be COVID secure and employers should take appropriate steps before the employee returns to work including, where appropriate, making reasonable adjustments to avoid claims such as disability discrimination. Just let us know if we can assist with this.
- From 4th July restaurants, pubs, hairdressers, hotels, B&Bs, cottages, campsites, caravan parks, cinemas and museums will be allowed to reopen, providing they follow safety guidelines and detailed guidance is expected to be published shortly.
- Also from 4 July, where it is not possible to stay 2m apart, we should instead stay one metre apart while observing precautions to reduce the risk of transmission. Businesses should follow the relevant guidance as it is updated but this is likely to include steps such as avoiding face-to-face seating, improving ventilation, using screens and changing shift patterns so that staff work in set teams. Prior to changing shift patterns (or any other employment terms) you should of course consider whether you have the contractual right to do so and the steps which should be taken before you implement such a change to avoid claims such as constructive dismissal. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if we can assist with this.
Finally, we have been very busy this week reviewing furlough agreements and providing flexible furlough agreements in preparation for flexible furloughing on 1st July. Key points are set out here. If you would like us to review your agreements, or provide a flexible furlough agreement, then do not hesitate to get in touch.
Please do contact us for further information and to see how we can help you with ‘emerging from lockdown’.