From 19 July, the Government is lifting nearly all remaining Covid restrictions, but what does this mean for employers?
New Guidance published on 14 July states that, from today, the Government no longer expects employees to work from home. Advice to maintain a social distance in the workplace no longer applies, so the importance of other measures, such as ventilation and mask wearing, are emphasised in the new Guidance.
The Guidance is non-statutory so employers are not obliged to implement its recommendations. However, as employers have a legal duty to take reasonable care of their employees' health and safety, any court, tribunal, regulator or other authority assessing whether this duty has been complied with will certainly take into account the prevailing Government Guidance.
As more businesses return to the workplace, employers should also keep engaging with employees about their mental health; it is likely that many will be experiencing anxiety around the further lifting of restrictions.
From Step 4, social distancing guidance will no longer apply. This means that you do not need to implement social distancing in your business, workplace or venue, and customers and workers do not need to keep apart from people they don’t live with. The government is no longer instructing people to work from home if they can, so employers can start to plan a return to workplaces.