Returning to work – one step at a time

With government restrictions set to lift, it is important that employers consider and plan for the practical issues that may arise with a return to the workplace.

Some matters that will require consideration before employees return include:

1. Does your workplace have sufficient hand washing facilities? Should you include hand sanitising stations in high frequency areas such as reception and staff kitchens?

2. Will visitors be allowed to visit the workplace? What parameters do you need to put around this?

3. Have you updated your policy for meetings – both onsite and offsite?

4. Have you considered what is to happen in shared spaces, such as lunch rooms and staff rooms?

5. Do you have a policy in place if an employee or close contact of an employee is diagnosed with COVID-19?

From a business management perspective, you should also review workplace policies and consider whether they will need to be updated. For example, do your current policies allow you to ask employees to take accrued annual leave? Is your workplace also governed by Awards which may impact this? Have you considered how your employees travel to work and whether they will be impacted by a reluctance to take public transport? Do you have end of trip facilities for people who cycle to work and will these remain open?

If you need assistance preparing a return to workplace policy or with the transition back to the workplace, please contact Heather Richardson or Isabella Royce.