With the UK Government and the Scottish Government having set out their plans for a phased relaxation of lockdown, your employer ought to be thinking about how they can return you and your colleagues to the workplace in a safe way, as appropriate.
It is necessary for your employer to conduct a Covid-19 Risk Assessment. This should be regularly reviewed and updated before you and your fellow workers return, and on an ongoing basis. The paramount consideration is the health and safety of you and your co-workers. Of course, this means that your employer should be taking full account of up-to-date Government advice.
A Risk Assessment is not a “box-ticking” exercise. It involves someone with a knowledge of your employers’ working practices carefully considering the daily operations of the business and areas where risks may arise and implementing reasonable steps to minimise those risks. Your employer cannot ensure that the spread of coronavirus is avoided. However, the Risk Assessment should make it clear that they have taken steps to consider the risks and minimise them as far as possible.
Much is common sense. Here are very simple steps that your employer ought to be considering to reduce risk and allow social distancing. For example:
If you have concerns about travelling to and from work on public transport following lockdown, speak to your employer about other options they could consider.
You and many others may be concerned and anxious about returning to workplaces and will want to know that your employer is regarding your physical and mental health as a priority. Your employer should be communicating with you and regularly reviewing, as necessary, the Risk Assessment which they have put in place. You and your colleagues should be encouraged to ask questions about return to work plans and make suggestions. There may be simple measures that you realise your employer has not considered.