Returning to work Part 1: Decision making

Returning to work Part 1: Decision making 1280 853 Commissioning HR
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After months of working from home, many employers are now taking tentative steps to bring their staff back into the workplace. 

From 1st August the Government’s advice changed from telling people to work from home to give employers more discretion and ask them to make decision about how their staff can work safely.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) is advising that businesses 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. 

In our next blog, we’ll set out some key considerations that employers should follow before welcoming office staff back to their desks.

This is part 1 of a 4 part series. Please visit the ‘People’ section of the blog to discover more blogs in the series. 

How we Support

Commissioning HR specialises in transformative change and putting people at the heart of business. We are passionate about ensuring Good Work is embedded in organisations and helping South West businesses emerge as ethical employers. Contact us for advice and support on returning to the office, and other HR matters.

About the author

Commissioning HR

Deliver professional and credible HR advice, guidance and structure, for positive outcomes for employees, managers, directors, customers, stakeholders and investors across Devon and Cornwall.

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