What are the current rules about social distancing at work?

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in the UK is providing advice and information about social distancing, in-work activities, and keeping businesses open during the Coronavirus outbreak. These guidelines are designed to help people work safely and protect other people. It covers things such as social distancing measures, staggering shifts, providing additional hand-washing facilities and how to talk with workers about working safely.

HSE is reviewing these guidelines on an ongoing basis in relation to the government advice, guidelines and legislation supporting the national effort to tackle COVID-19. Social distancing is a public health measure introduced to reduce the spread of infection so also relates to social distancing within the workplace. If employers are not taking action to comply with the relevant public health legislation and guidance, e.g. employers not taking appropriate action to socially distance or ensure workers,  they are able to take a range of actions to improve the control of workplace risks including the provision of specific advice to employers through to issuing enforcement notices.

Work is split into two categories; essential and non-essential work, however, all businesses have been asked to carry on where possible, although specific guidance is different in each nation i.e. England, Scotland and Wales. Employers should take every possible step to facilitate their employees working from home which avoids unnecessary travel. Where it’s not be possible to work from home, workers can still travel for work purposes, provided they are not showing coronavirus symptoms and neither you nor any of your household are self-isolating. Employers who have people in their offices or on site should ensure that employees are able, where possible, to follow Public Health guidelines on social distancing, including, where possible, such as maintaining a 2 metre distance from others, and washing their hands with soap and water often for at least 20 seconds.

In summary

summary, if you, as a worker, able to carry on working, you’re encouraged to do so. Also, If you’re able to work from home, this is also encouraged. Employers are asked to help and support workers to work from home if they’re able and try to protect workers if they have to travel for work or need to enter the workplace. However, business, where possible, should carry on.

Support for your business

There are a range of loans, grants and other support available businesses to help them support their staff during these exceptional times. Get in touch with Millhouses Accountancy for help and support with things such as applying for business support grants or furloughing workers.

Call us on Sheffield 0114 345 0960 or Nottingham 0115 882 0356

Jason Scholey

Jason Scholey