Following the successful rollout of vaccines against the COVID19 virus, we have been asked by clients, what should employers do when employees have been vaccinated from COVID19? Most people receiving the vaccine in the first wave are elderly and retired people. However, some younger working people have received the vaccine in the first wave. This could be because they are clinically extremely vulnerable or they are a health care worker or engaged in a similar sector. Following Lockdown Rules Anyone who receives the vaccine must continue to follow lockdown rules and your COVID-19 secure workplace procedures. These must still be adhered to as even vaccinated employees could potentially transmit the virus to unvaccinated people. Vaccination does alter an employer’s approach for some clinically highly vulnerable staff. Having the vaccine means these workers can better protect themselves. After both doses have been received, they may be able to finish shielding and return to the workplace. However, only if it’s essential that they return to the workplace and following an individual risk assessment. Current lockdown rules will apply to other employees who may still need to work from home, depending on the nature of the role. Planning for Wider Rollout Vaccinations in […]
We’ve already had two calls this week asking us “Can I make my employees have a COVID vaccine?” The short answer to this is “No”. It’s also unlikely to be fair to discipline or dismiss an employee because they don’t want to be vaccinated. It would be highly unusual for any employer to force an employee to undergo a medical procedure (which is what being vaccinated amounts to). Consider also, that some employees may be unable to have the vaccine. Employers do have a duty of care to protect the health, safety and welfare of their employees and anyone visiting or affected by their business. If your risk assessment establishes that being vaccinated reduces the risk of contracting the virus, it’s reasonable to ask employees to get vaccinated. But, you can’t make employees have a COVID vaccine. Do your employees need to tell you that they’ve had a vaccination? No, they don’t. Health data is sensitive personal information. If you record that employees have been vaccinated, make sure that you collect the minimum information. Maybe restricting this to simply, have they had the vaccine, yes or no. Considering adding COVID vaccination as a contractual clause? Take care. Enforcing this change, […]
It would be fair to say that 2020 has been a challenging year, but we are not out of the woods yet. 2021 is likely to be almost as much of a challenge. Covid, Brexit, a potential recession, and the decimation of some industries will mean 2021 has some pretty unique HR challenges. Being forewarned is being forearmed, as they say, so we have compiled a list of the challenges we can look forward to meeting next year.
Since the pandemic hit the UK earlier this year many employees have worked from home and it seems some employers have found issues with home working. Here is a guide to home working and how we can make these issues easier. It now seems it will be a long time before everything returns to normal. Therefore, employees may be required to work from home more often. Even if your employees have worked from home before, they might not have spent such a long time away from their colleagues. In one sense, we’re all in it together, but in another sense, it’s a different experience for everyone. Having additional responsibilities, such as childcare, or losing out on chances to socialise might be starting to affect your employees. What are the Advantages? Besides preventing employees from catching the coronavirus and passing it on to others by social distancing, home working creates a more flexible schedule, the ability to work from any location, and no more commuting were the top reported benefits The cost savings associated with remote work may win over many companies. As well, switching to virtual meets in some instances can also be a significant cost savings. Employers and employees […]
We were asked today how to manage employees as they return to work from Lockdown. As this might apply to a lot of employers, we thought we’d make it the subject of a blog. You’ll already have done the things that the Government’s advising you to do to create a COVID safe workplace. You’ll have completed your COVID 19 risk assessments, you’ll have put up the signs reminding people to wash their hand and you’ve likely bought hand sanitiser. But there are some practical things to think about how people behave at work. Our ten tips to manage employees as they return to work from Lockdown Touching colleagues. It should go without saying but some returning workers will need reminding what your policy on touching. What’s your policy on whether your employees should shake hands with visitors. The more informal supportive slap on the shoulder or the high fives when someone signs a big deal are no longer welcome. Facemasks at work. At the time of writing it’s not always necessary to wear a mask all day. But it will depend on your workplace and your risk assessment. But each worker should at least have a mask on their person […]
Dr Tok Hussain (Consultant Occupational Physician) from Healthwork Ltd writes a guest blog for us this week discussing the benefits of Occupational Health to employers. Occupational health (OH) is a service that many employers value in looking after their employees as well as managing health related and corporate risk. Occupational health is a specialist branch of medicine concerned with the effects of work on health and health on work. So, for example, an occupational health nurse or doctor might be carrying out hearing tests to ensure workers don’t develop deafness as a result of their work. The nurse or doctor might also be seeing someone who has had a heart attack or is suffering with anxiety and then advising about how that worker can safely return to work. Occupational health focuses on providing the best possible advice in relation to health and work. Occupational Health focuses on: maximising people’s opportunities to benefit from healthy and rewarding work while not putting themselves or others at risk of harm; the elimination of preventable illness caused or aggravated by work; advising about workplace health matters; helping to rehabilitate those who have suffered injury or sickness back into work; helping support those who because […]
Working out how to cope with COVID at work this winter isn’t easy because the data is conflicting. Are we going to have more deaths? More illness but fewer deaths? More flu and less COVID or more COVID and less flu? With more local lockdowns happening and more schools shutting temporarily one thing’s for sure, no one knows what is going to happen. If you’re planning how to cope with COVID at work this winter, we have some tips that might help. If you have 25% absenteeism, can you still operate? What about 50%? If nothing else, the last six months have shown us some new ways of dealing with a lack of people in the workplace. Some of these plans will still work as we approach winter, some won’t. Have you done as much as you can to cross-train people to carry out multiple roles? Test this cross training by rotating people now, rather than waiting for a crisis. Because you’ll find wrinkles in the process that need sorting out and this way you’ve got time. Are your IT systems up to the job? Can people easily access the information they need to do their job and the work […]