The resumption of large-scale events, pupils returning to the classroom and the relaxation of travel rules are predicted to correspond with yet another increase of Covid-19 cases, and employers are now encouraged to prepare and plan for a surge to protect their employees and lessen the impact on their business. Here we look at preparing your business for a rise in Covid cases.
Workforce Planning and Covid-19
With a self-isolation still required for positive Covid cases, businesses must consider the impact of short notice absences. In a post pandemic world, key questions employers must ask include:
- What are our critical workforce and business service areas today?
- What plans are in place within teams to support business continuity should absences rise?
- Within our current workforce, do any skill gaps exist?
- Which roles would immediately impact the business should they be absent?
Once key questions have been answered, business should look to stress test operational ability if disruption occurs.
This needs to include planning and developing a response, and crucially, testing this to identify the success and effectiveness.
Health & Safety in the workplace
Compared to the beginning of the pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns, Covid-19 preventative measures may have eased in the physical workplace, but employers have a statutory duty to provide a safe place of work for their employees.
To help businesses prepare for the predicted influx of cases over the next few months, we have shared our top tips to help you manage coronavirus in the workplace.
- Review your Covid-19 Risk Assessments
To help manage the risk of coronavirus in your business, you should regularly review your Covid-19 Risk Assessment to identify any activities or situations that might cause transmission of the virus, and to ensure your premises are Covid secure.
- Using declaration forms
Visitors, contractors, delivery drivers and anyone else who visits your premises should sign a health & safety visitor declaration form to reduce the potential risk of exposure and prevent the spread of Covid-19.
- Regular cleaning, hygiene and handwashing
Keeping workplaces clean and encouraging frequent handwashing will reduce the potential of the virus spreading and plays an important role in keeping your employees and business safe. Consider placing signs and posters around the office to encourage good hygiene techniques, as well as reviewing your cleaning regime following your risk assessment.
- Good ventilation and air conditioning
Good ventilation will greatly reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus, and as the colder months roll in it’s important to keep the workplace at a comfortable temperature for your employees. You can use both natural and mechanical ventilation, and the HSE provided a helpful overview of ventilation during the coronavirus pandemic here.
- Work from home
To protect more vulnerable members of staff and employees who are self-isolating, employers may have to consider reintroducing remote working. Employers should ensure all members of staff have access to the tools needed to do their job from any location in order to lessen business disruption and downtime.
To discuss preparing your business for a rise in Covid cases, contact our expert HR team today.