What can you do if you don’t feel Covid-secure in your workplace?30th October 2020
At all times an employer has a duty of care to ensure you have a safe working environment, during the Covid-19 pandemic this also means ensuring that as many measures as possible are put in place to reduce the risk of infection to staff. How much can be done will depend on your working environment, for example a shop environment when coming into contact with customers daily will be different to an office environment. An employer must also take into consideration how vulnerable you are, if for example you are classified as a vulnerable person who needed to shield, they need to be aware of this and take necessary action.
What should an employer be doing?
If you can work from home that’s where you should be, if you are unable to do so your employer should be following the Government guidance on how to make your workplace Covid-secure.
All employees should be washing their hands regularly and ideally, they should also be avoiding using public transport at busy times, and when they do use it, they should always wear a facemask.
The Government guidelines will vary depending on the type of business in which you work so if you have any concerns, it would be useful to read those that relate to your specific working environment, for example in some environments employees must now always wear a facemask.
Ideally, people should always be keeping 2 metres apart from you and if this is not possible then they should be at least 1 metre apart. Your employer should be ensuring practices are in place to make this possible, for example by not having you work face to face with somebody under 2 metres away and making use of screens.
What can I do if I don’t feel safe?
Your first step should be to talk to your employer and explain your concerns, discuss what reasonable measures you believe could be put in place to help you feel safe. You could consider discussing the job retention scheme if you are vulnerable and feel unable to work. If you are not getting anywhere with your employer, you can consider finding some representation to help you negotiate with them.
You can read the Government guidelines for working safely during Covid-19 here