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March 30, 2020

COVID-19: My Employees Can’t Work From Home

What can you do when your employees can’t work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic? Keep reading to find out. 

Millions of people are transitioning to homeworking and battling with IT systems and collaboration apps. We’re also getting used to this new routine of remote working. But for many managers and employees, switching to homeworking is simply not an option.

Perhaps you work in the manufacturing, transportation or food sector? Carrying out work to provide the nation with valuable services and resources throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. For delivery drivers and warehouse staff, remote working isn’t possible either.

How do you cope when you and your team are unable to follow the government’s recommendations? What do you do if your employees can’t work from home?

Key Safety Advice When Your Employees Can’t Work From Home

Social Distancing

In these circumstances, following key safety advice is critical. Are you providing adequate hand washing, sanitisers and social distancing measures? For example, can breaks and lunch times be staggered to reduce foot traffic? Can staff be segregated during delivery times, such as when lorry drivers are unloading their lorries?

Employee Wellbeing

Prioritising the health and wellbeing of your employees, including their mental health is critical. Throughout this period, there will be much uncertainty for everyone regarding their health, jobs and families. So, it’s important to be vigilant over working conditions.

If you’re working in an environment that doesn’t support remote working, consider the changes that need to be made and how you can communicate on a regular basis to reassure your team.

Health & Safety Guidelines

Employers need to ensure their staff are receiving the legal number of breaks and are following the company’s health and safety guidelines. For instance, using ladders and lifting heavy goods in warehouses.

Increased Hygiene Measures

Of course, follow the recommendations from the NHS for washing your hands and avoiding skin contact at work where possible. Can employees wear gloves during work? Can they go for regular breaks to wash their hands? Can you remind them to avoid touching their faces?

Work Rotations

If it’s possible, can you divide staff to work across different parts of the business and alternate working from home? You’ll need to have strict conditions that the teams have no physical contact, and switch after two weeks (the presumed incubation period of the virus).

Expand Sick Leave

Some companies may create new sick leave rules to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus between employees and customers, particularly if any staff have been tested positive for COVID-19.

However, this may be difficult for small businesses that could struggle with the financial impact.

Communicate with Customers

With uncertainty causing high levels of concern, it’s important to communicate with customers via email or social media about what you’re doing to keep your business clean, employees healthy and any operational changes.

Close and Clean

If a worker is exposed to the Coronavirus or confirmed to have it, prepare to close for at least a day and give the premises a thorough cleaning or consider performing a “deep clean overnight.”

For more Health and Safety guidance related to specific industries such as care homes, manufacturing, factories or office environments, Moorepay customers can call our Advice Line on 0345 184 4615 (option 3).

To find out more about our Health and Safety Services, check out our website page here.

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About the author

Alexandra Dunton

About the author

Alexandra Dunton

Alex studied Law at University College London and has 15 years’ commercial experience working in B2B Business Development and marketing. Alex joined Moorepay in 2019 and is committed to bringing real-time Employment Law and Health and Safety content to our clients adding value to the software which supports our HR Services.

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