The Government has released draft guidelines on how the UK can return to work following the COVID-19 lockdown, which includes reduced hot-desking and alternatives to social distancing where impossible to implement.
The draft has been sent out to business groups and unions, they have until 9 pm this evening (04/05/20) to give their feedback.
Where social distancing is not viable, more hygiene procedures should be put in place and protective equipment should be used.
It also states that employers should urge their staff to stop using shared equipment, to alter shift times and to use remote working as much as possible. Unions have issued worry regarding personal protective equipment (PPE), that there may not be enough of it which could lead to different businesses asking for PPE in direct competition with the NHS.
Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said:
No business wants to be competing with the health services or with the care sector, for example, for PPE.
Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the UK is expected to deliver a “roadmap” where he will explain how he intends to reopen different parts of the UK economy on the 10/04/20.
Chris Biggs, managing director of accountancy firm Theta Financial Reporting, believes that this experience can be used as a learning curve and said:
They should ask why not if it has worked well and productivity has been maintained. At the end of all of this, there will need to be a wholesale review of companies’ disaster recovery plans to ensure they learn and put in place now actions that will help in future. However, businesses need to start this now and gather input from all areas of the business and all staff to see what needs to change and be put in place.
During the weekend, Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary said that companies may be asked to alter workers’ hours to put a stop to crowded commutes and to have a limited amount of people in the office.