Want to Guarantee a 100% Safe, Confident Return to the Office?

Business Insights

We’re all worried about our staff returning to work. But did you know business owners have a duty of care to carry out the correct processes, procedures, and actions that take your employees’ needs into account?

The Health and Safety Executive is carrying out spot checks and inspections to ensure businesses keep workers safe and are COVID-secure. If employers are not following governmental guidelines, HSE inspectors will take immediate action––including prosecution. Fines for non-compliance BEGIN at £1,000.

So, is it Safe to Go Back to Work?

The short answer is yes––if you’ve carried out a risk assessment and comply with the government’s guidelines.

But with new COVID variants on the rise and only 34% of the UK fully vaccinated, there is concern that bringing teams back too early could result in new outbreaks.

After everything you’ve been through, a COVID outbreak among your staff would tarnish your reputation and damage revenue.

Are You Worried About Your Finances?

This last year has had a significant impact on finances––from additional costs incurred from working from home to providing PPE to loss of business. The pandemic has meant stress, lay-offs and even risk of closure.

The main reason business owners contact me is worry over not being able to pay staff. Furlough has helped massively but will end in September 2021, so you’ll need to contribute more towards staff wages from August. If you don’t have a clear action plan, your reserves will soon dry up. You may need to make some tough decisions or be forced to close.

Are You Looking After Your Team’s Wellbeing?

The pandemic has taken a toll on you and your team.

Have you had conversations with your team to find out if they are fit, ready and happy to return to the workplace?

If you haven’t been in regular contact, you might not know how COVID has affected your team personally – have they lost friends or relatives? Have they had LONG COVID and need support?

To hit the ground running, you need to ensure you have a great team behind you, and that you keep hold of them and their knowledge. In short, you need to be looking after your staff now more than ever!

Do You Need to Review Your Staff Structures?

You need to have the right staff in the right place at the right time.

Your company may have reinvented itself, or you may have seen a reduction in business, so you need to ask yourself if your current team possess the skills to help you grow your business.

Have you carried out a forecast to see what staffing levels you will need?

If you know you need to reduce team size in September – you can start the redundancy process now and give your teams time to find other work.

Now is the Time to Act!

You need to be making tough decisions right now. If you are overstretching your team, they may leave or take time off sick, which will damage your business recovery.

If your business has become more hybrid, have you reviewed your processes? For example, do you need to rethink your filing? Some old processes might not be fit for purpose.

When did you last review your suppliers? If you need to spend money on your team, you’ll need to reduce costs elsewhere – Have you checked contracts and notice dates? If you cannot balance your income and outgoings, you are going to create profit loss.

Can You Afford to get Returning to the Office Wrong?

To avoid nasty fines and unhappy staff, you need an action plan that considers all your requirements and future options as an employer.

Never fear; this is why we created our fabulous Back to Work Toolkit!

Rest assured, we will be your guiding light through the dark labyrinth of regulations, so you can understand where to focus your attention and the actions you need to take first.

The online program comes with easy-to-use checklists, risk assessments, guidance notes, posters, policies and templates.

Featuring a COVID Pre-Return to Work Declaration, a Back to Work HR & Employment Law Checklist, a Back to Work Coffee Chat Talk, a Vaccine Policy Template, a Home Working Policy, How to Handle Suspected COVID cases, an in-house COVID testing policy, Managing Restructures and Redundancy, and Redundancy Planning, we’ve got it covered!

In short, our Back to Work Toolkit contains everything you need to build a successful, bespoke action plan to get back to the workplace with confidence, so you can guarantee you are COVID-Safe and risk-free.

By Kate Underwood
Managing Director, Kate Underwood HR & Training