7 February 2022

Return to the workplace – What impact will this have on health and safety policies?

Health and safety

The recently released annual report of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has confirmed that 93,000 cases of COVID-19 reported to them in 2020/2021 were due to exposure to COVID-19 at work.

The HSE report also highlights that there has been an increase in the number of anxiety, stress or depression work related illnesses and reports that 822,000 employees were reported to have been suffering these type of illnesses in 2020/2021. The HSE has identified the coronavirus pandemic as a significant contributor to these illnesses.

The Government’s work from home guidance has been removed, what steps do I need to make to protect our employees?

The Government has removed their working from home guidance and therefore as more employees return to the workplace, employers should ensure that their welfare is a priority. Employers must take steps to ensure the safety of their employees and protect them during the course of their employment including ensuring that their workplace is COVID-safe.

Are we required to have a written health and safety policy?

Written health and safety policies are required if an employer has five or more employees.

How can we ensure our employees are aware of their own health and safety responsibilities?

Communicating with staff regularly is good practice and it is important to ensure policies are reviewed regularly and kept up to date. Employees should be aware of their own responsibilities while at work and employers can facilitate this through providing guidance, clear policies and communicating with their staff.

If you require any advice in respect of your duties under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, please contact our Employment Law team today.

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