As businesses plan a return to the workplace, the CIPD is urging that, in addition to meeting Government guidelines, they ensure they meet three key tests before bringing people back to the workplace.

Employers need to start planning for what is likely to be staged return to the workplace, most likely over a prolonged period of time. Their guiding principle should be how to safeguard the health and wellbeing of their people. The CIPD is urging businesses to ensure they can meet three key tests before bringing their people back to the workplace:

  • Is it essential?

    Where employees can work from home the Government advice is to continue to do so. If employees cannot work from home, is their work deemed essential to the business operation or could the business continue to use the Government’s Job Retention Scheme for longer, giving them the time needed to put safety measures and clear employee guidance and consultation in place?

  • Is it sufficiently safe?

    Employers have a duty of care to identify and manage risks to ensure that the workplace is sufficiently safe to return to. This could include reconfiguring workspaces and common areas to allow appropriate social distancing, possible changes to working hours, and increased workplace cleaning and sanitation measures. 

  • Is it mutually agreed?

    CIPD research found that four in ten people are anxious about returning to work. It’s vital that there is a clear dialogue between employers and employees so concerns can be raised and individual needs and worries taken into account. To manage some of these issues, there will need to be flexibility on both sides to accommodate different working times or schedules.

As well as following the latest Government guidance and legal obligations regarding health and safety, using our Returning to the workplace planner employers can assess their readiness to meet these three key tests.

Download the planner

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