With the NHS Confederation calling for the government to implement its Plan B COVID restrictions to prevent another crisis this winter, how quickly should employers act to ensure their business can still thrive?
I cannot stress enough how important it is for employers to plan ahead. With 18 months of lockdown under our belts, we have all learnt many lessons. One of which, in my view as a founder, is that we want to do anything possible to avoid another lockdown.
It’s vital for the economy to get everybody back into work and make our towns and cities vibrant again. Many businesses have struggled to survive and will be relying on the upcoming months to make up for lost time and money.
The government’s Plan A is to continue with the vaccine rollout and booster jabs. This approach is most likely to guarantee a speedy return to normality.
I think all businesses should encourage their staff to have the jab. That is why we’ve encouraged all Peninsula employees to get vaccinated. Our VaccTrak app, which is available to all businesses, provides proof of vaccination and video content giving advice on the importance of being vaccinated.
Our employees have been paid time during the workday to get their jabs, with free transport provided from head office to nearby clinics.
We’ve also worked hard to ensure our premises are COVID-secure, with regular testing for all our people so they are as safe as possible.
All these actions got us back to full productivity from the minute we were allowed into the office.
The government’s Plan B may include a potential return to home working and mandatory face coverings.
To reduce the chance of another winter in lockdown, businesses should make their premises COVID-safe and conduct a safety audit to ensure secure working conditions, which give confidence to staff and customers alike.
We owe it to ourselves to not get complacent now.
In case of a further lockdown, you should ensure your employees have everything they need to work efficiently from home again at short notice if required, with a system of monitoring staff efficiency.
If you’re in an industry where working from home isn’t an option, ensure you have measures in place to protect your employees. Look at flexible-working options. While labour shortages make it difficult, try to bring in extra staff now to cover likely absences, and have plans in place to cover worst-case scenarios.
No one wants another lockdown, but it’s important to be prepared with an effective plan of action.
To discuss your preparations with an employment law expert, call today on 0800 028 2420.