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Re-opening workplaces

The remaining Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted in England, including the instruction to work from home where possible. Restrictions have also been lifted in Scotland and Wales.

However, the government is not expecting or recommending that everyone returns to the office immediately and most employers are likely to adopt a cautious approach, at least initially. The government has updated its guidance for employers on working safely during coronavirus to reflect Step 4. Employers must consider the implications of this when re-opening workplaces – employers still have a legal duty to manage risks to their employees and to mitigate any identified risks. Limits on the number of people allowed to meet indoors are still in place in Northern Ireland.

Employers will be facing many employment law issues concerning health and safety, vaccinations, medical testing, discrimination and rights to work and pay, including which employees should return to the workplace, who should stay at home, what happens if individuals don’t want to return and what are your legal obligations when it comes to making the workplace safe.

We have a range of materials to help guide you through these questions in line with legal requirements:

1. Coronavirus – FAQs on staffing decisions when reopening workplaces

2. Coronavirus – FAQs on managing a safe return to work

3. Return to office checklist

4. Staffing decisions when reopening workplaces – flowchart

5. RE: Occupy - Managing-the-re-occupation-of-your-premises 

6. RE: Occupy - Real Estate FAQs for Tenants during Covid-19 

7. Coronavirus vaccination - FAQs for employers

8. Workplace testing – FAQs for employers

9. Lewis Silkin - How to mitigate the risk of employment claims on return to work during Covid-19 – a table

Please contact us if you have any questions on your obligations as an employer or require any support in relation to Covid-19.

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Coronavirus – FAQs on staffing decisions when reopening workplaces

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Employers are facing many employment law issues as the guidance on working safely during the Covid-19 pandemic continues to evolve. These FAQs cover specific issues in relation to deciding which employees should stay at home and what happens if employees do not want to come to work.

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Staffing decisions when reopening workplaces - flowchart

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We have updated our flowchart to help employers decide which employees should attend their workplace following the removal of most legal restrictions in England from 19 July 2021.

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Coronavirus – FAQs on managing a safe return to work

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Employers are facing many employment law issues as the guidance on working safely during the Covid-19 pandemic continues to evolve. These FAQs cover employers’ health and safety obligations, including risk assessments, risk control measures and responsibilities towards employees who are advised to self-isolate.

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Return to the workplace: Making your workplace Covid secure

03 September 2021

In this video Patrick Brown discusses what steps corporate occupiers may need to take when making their offices covid secure.

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Return to the workplace: Discussing enhancements with your landlord

03 September 2021

In this video Patrick Brown covers important points to consider ahead of discussing changes to service requirements of landlords.

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Return to the workplace: Dealing with surplus office space

03 September 2021

In this video Patrick Brown sets out options for corporate occupiers who have found themselves with surplus space post pandemic.

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Return to the workplace: Covid-19 testing

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In this video Charlotte Morgan covers the key things companies should bear in mind when considering workplace testing.

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Return to the workplace: Employee concerns on returning to the workplace

01 September 2021

In this video Charlotte Morgan sets out important considerations for employers should they have staff unwilling to return to the workplace.

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Businesses are facing many real and unique challenges as the world responds to COVID-19.

Return to office checklist

With all Covid-19 restrictions lifted in the UK on July 19th, many offices will be opening again for the first time since the pandemic began. We have created a free checklist with over 70 things businesses need to consider relating to their premises, employees, and data.

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