The Government’s roadmap out of the current lockdown has undoubtedly been welcome news for employers, who can now start planning to reopen their businesses and bring their employees back to work. However, when putting these plans in place, there are many issues to consider, some of which we’ve outlined below:
- With the furlough scheme coming to an end on the 30 September 2021, consider whether your business has enough work for those currently on furlough as well as any staff working part-time on flexible furlough. If your business needs to reduce its headcount, you should start reviewing your business needs now so any redundancy processes can be well planned for and managed, thereby avoiding unfair dismissal claims.
- Be prepared to receive an influx of flexible-working requests from employees who don’t want to return to the old ways of working, and consider whether your business can adapt to more flexible ways of working.
- Anticipate employee fears about how safe and Covid-secure the office is.
- Consider whether you want to implement a vaccine policy, and if you do, what that policy should be.
- Many employees may be coming out of lockdown, having not worked for months. Returning to work after an enforced period of inactivity may be a stressful prospect, and some may be feeling extremely anxious– psychologists call this “re-entry anxiety”. Consider how best you can manage the return of your staff and support their mental wellbeing.
Effective communication and good planning are the key to a successful transition from home to the workplace. No matter what sector you work in, we’re advising all businesses to begin formulating plans for bringing employees back now. If you have any questions on the issues covered here or any other employment issues, the employment team at Moore Barlow are here to help.