COVID19: returning to work safely

 

Our Policy and Campaigns Officer, Rona Johnson provides information published by The Scottish Government for workers and employers returning to work during the COVID19 pandemic.

The Scottish Government have published guidance for workers and employers on returning to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Scottish Government have said that returning to work should happen in a phased approach and all businesses must ensure physical distancing measures are in place. Not every workplace is safe to open yet, find out more information here.

Whilst working during coronavirus, everyone should:

  • work from home if they can
  • follow guidance on making the workplace safe e.g. establishing and following social distancing measures, carrying out a risk assessment
  • avoid busy commuting times on public transport where travel is essential, and wear a face covering
  • wash their hands regularly

 

Workplace environments

The Scottish Government have produced more detailed advice on specific workplace environments and different sectors. This information can be found here.

The Scottish Government expect employers to follow Fair Work principles when returning staff to work. This includes ensuring workers;

  • have a clear voice in workplace decisions
  • are supported to follow public health guidance
  • are paid if they are sick or have to self-isolate because of COVID19
  • have the opportunity to work flexibly, including homeworking
  • are protected from health and safety risks, both in work and travelling to and from the workplace
  • are provided with clear and comprehensive information on managing work-related risks
  • positions are protected regardless of the nature of their employment, minimising detriment to fixed term, hourly paid or irregular contract staff

Work

 

Useful resources

If you think your workplace is unsafe, you have rights under employment legislation.

  • ACAS is an independent public body who give free and impartial employment advice to employees and employers
  • If you are a member of a trade union, you may wish to speak to your relevant trade union representative. Further information on trade union activity can be found here.
    • For trade union health and safety representatives contact details, who are available to support the development of workplace risk assessments for non-unionised workplaces, contact: safety@stuc.org.uk
  • You can also raise enquiries about working safely with the Health and Safety Executive and with Local Authority Environmental Health Officers
  • Scottish Hazards provide a free and confidential service for workers seeking workplace health and safety advice and support. This phone line is open Monday to Friday: call 0800 0015 022 for support or see their website for other ways to get in touch

To find more epilepsy specific workplace information, please visit our Work Publication page. If you have questions related to having epilepsy and working during coronavirus, please email rjohnson@epilepsyscotland.org.uk.

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