Following Boris Johnson’s announcement on Saturday, Southalls would like to update you on our approach.
Southalls are continuing to visit clients in a COVID-19 secure manner. It is vital that businesses are ensuring their COVID-19 controls are being followed and they do not lose sight of other hazards within their workplace. Southalls visits are an integral part of this; ensuring we can support you in an effective manner in the event of an intervention by public health departments, local authorities or the HSE.
All businesses permitted to trade after 5th November 2020 will now be required to make changes to the way they protect employees who are considered to be at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
Any staff who are considered to be ‘clinically vulnerable’ are able to continue working, although it would be prudent to review now your risk assessment and to ensure your controls are robust and followed on the ground.
Any staff who are considered to be ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ (CEV) are now being advised to work from home. The guidance issued on the 31st October 2020 states: “Over this period, we are advising the CEV to work from home. If you cannot work from home, you are advised not to go to work and may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) or Employment Support Allowance (ESA)”.
It is vital that you now undertake a review to identify any staff who are considered to be CEV, and where possible, take the steps required to enable them to work from home. We would suggest you adopt the following approach over the next few days:
- Review your health screening to ensure you are able to identify any staff who are considered to be CEV.
- As a precaution, we would recommend you contact all of your staff and ask them to inform you, should they be aware they are now considered to be CEV.
- You should ensure all staff considered CEV are able to work from home as of the 5th of November. Where staff roles do not permit this, then according to the guidance ‘staff are advised not to go to work’.
- In the unlikely event of a CEV member of staff being required to remain at work, you must ensure you review your risk assessments and ensure robust controls are in place. This must be considered an exception (e.g. where roles are considered to be business critical) and in this event you must review your risk assessment accordingly.
- Review your COVID-19 risk assessment to ensure your control measures are robust and are being thoroughly followed by all staff.
- We would recommend you remind all your staff about the importance of following your risk assessments.
We would recommend you to contact your HR advisors before taking any steps, as the above will inevitably overlap with a current HR guidance. Should you have any HR questions, please do not hesitate to contact your Southalls consultant or contact us directly on 0345 257 4015 and we will happily provide you with contact details of our HR partners.