Blog post

How to Open Your Workplace After Lockdown

With workplaces beginning to open employers have certain obligations that need to be adhered to to safeguard their employees and their workplaces. The reality is that companies will have to continually adapt in line with evolving government guidelines, at a minimum, for the next few months.

To ensure that there is not a second wave, which may lead to a second lockdown, every company needs to continuously review their work and decide if the correct safeguards are in place.


What Steps Do You Need to Follow to Open Your Workplace

Those companies who can continue to allow employees to remote work should continue to do so and appropriate policies need to be developed to support this. The government has also advised that employees who have been identified as vulnerable should work from home where possible, if this is not possible, these employees are safeguarded through social distancing.

The return to work protocol advises that, in preparation for returning to work, employers should:

1. At least one Covid-19 officer needs to be appointed. Employees undertaking this role must receive the necessary training and have a structured framework to follow within the company to be effective in preventing the spread of the virus. (this should not just be a box-ticking exercise!)

2. Companies should consult with all employees and safety reps on new safety measures that will be implemented in the workplace.

3. COVID-19 training needs to be provided to all employees regarding new safety protocols, identifying symptoms and keeping the virus at bay.

4. All companies need to develop a Covid-19 response plan. This response plan should be a product of your COVID-19 risk assessment.

5. Companies are required to keep a log of employees who are working together to facilitate contract tracing. This information will need to be kept for 28 days.

6. Policies and procedures must be developed and/or amended to identify Covid-19 risks and isolation procedures.

7. All workplace changes or policies need to be communicated to employees, this should include the COVID-19 response plan.

8. Control and prevention measures should be put in place throughout the workplace, this may include staggered start times and lunch breaks, sanitation stations, COVID-19 awareness posters and social distancing guidelines, isolation rooms and screens.

9. All employees returning to the workplace need to complete a pre-return to work form at least three days in advance of return.

10. Most importantly companies need to follow public health advice.

It is important to note that if a workplace is deemed not to comply with the public health guidelines the HSA can order improvements and ultimately for a workplace to be closed.

The HSA has published checklists and templates to help companies.


Employees Return to Work After COVID-19

Employees Return to Work After COVID-19

HRLocker Podcast, Cait Lynch from ISME talks to us about the process and procedures that Irish businesses should take to bring their people back to work safely. Cait gives some great HR advice that companies should look out for on the return to work!

How to Open Your Workplace After Lockdown was last modified: March 4th, 2024 by Crystel Rynne

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