Salman Haqqi, Personal finance specialist at money.co.uk says: “As a sign we’re starting to gradually head back to normality, many employees are set to start returning to work from the 15th of June, when non-essential shops reopen.
“This will be welcomed by many who have not been able to see their colleagues for nearly three months however, there will be employees who are uneasy about travelling into work while new coronavirus cases are being reported.
“The government has urged employers and employees to be sensitive to each other’s needs during this difficult time. As an employer, you have a ‘duty of care’ for staff, customers and visitors to your workplace.”
Be proactive communicating workplace changes
Some staff members may feel anxious about their safety if they return to work during this time. It’s best to be clear and proactive in letting your team know what you’re doing to help protect them from the risk of infection.
If you’ve put in place safety measures and communicated these clearly but a staff member still does not feel safe, speak to them about their concerns.
Check in on personal circumstances
With many schools still closed, some staff members may not be able to return yet, as they have continuing childcare responsibilities.
There may also be other staff who need to look after vulnerable relatives or help with shielding for those who need more protection from the threat of COVID-19.
The government’s Advisory, Conciliation, and Arbitration Service (ACAS) suggests that you should talk to these employees as soon as possible about the time off that may be needed.
You should both agree to regular conversations so that both sides can plan ahead. You may also want to discuss flexible working procedures.
The pandemic is a frustrating situation for everybody, so it’s best to try to find common ground when discussing how employees can return to work safely.”