On 11 May 2020, the Government set out its recovery strategy and stated that those who could not work from home should return to the workplace if their workplaces were open. A set of guidance was produced to help those returning to work to do so safely. Please see our previous alert on this issue here.

Risk assessments are key to a successful return to work. Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, employers have a duty to carry out a risk assessment, set up and implement safe systems of work and to keep these under review. We have produced a risk assessment flowchart setting out the key issues for employers to consider.

Many of those who work in clinical and care settings will have continued to work throughout the pandemic and will not be returning to work as such. However, particularly as the NHS returns to “normal”, clinical services will start to reopen, and staff who have been redeployed or have been working from home may return to their usual duties. Employers will need to ensure that the workplace is as safe as is reasonably practicable, including providing adequate PPE where necessary. Particular care needs to be taken regarding the clinically vulnerable, and employers should consider the risks posed to these workers taking into account the transmission risk. This forms part of the risk assessment flowchart.

If you have any queries regarding your health and safety duties and risk assessments, please contact David Firth. For any employment queries regarding a return to work, please contact Nicola Green or Sarah Parkinson.

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