Acas offers 5 top tips for businesses that are re-opening on 17 May

Across the country employers and workers will take the next steps to normality from Monday as more businesses begin to reopen. 

Pubs and restaurants will be able to serve people indoors, hotels and holiday accommodation can welcome back customers and indoor attractions like cinemas and theatres can draw back the curtains once again. 

Acas Chief Executive, Susan Clews, said:

“Many business owners will be reopening their shop fronts after a long gap. Their staff may have been on furlough or bosses may have experienced a downturn in demand and are trying to navigate what its impact will be on businesses in the long-term.

“Some staff may be anxious if they are yet to be vaccinated or unsure about travelling from home into work and wondering what safety measures have been put in place at work to make it COVID-secure.

“Our good practice advice can help businesses and organisations address some key return to work considerations and build trust with staff during this during this period of change.”

Acas has 5 top tips for employers to plan for the return to work.

1. Make sure the workplace is COVID-secure

  • Follow the government’s working safely guidelines for your industry.
  • Complete a COVID-19 risk assessment.
  • Involve staff on decisions around making your workplace safe and keep them informed about any new changes.

2. Plan ahead with staffing

  • Consider how many staff you actually need in work each day and at specific points during the day. 
  • Staggering start and finish times can help staff avoid busy commuting travel times.
  • Figure out how to reintegrate furloughed staff into the workforce.

3. Talk to staff about your plans

  • Arrange early conversations with staff to discuss returning to the workplace.
  • Check whether their working arrangements still suit yours and their needs and be flexible where possible.
  • Seek and listen to any concerns that staff have and try to resolve them.

4. Think about the health and wellbeing of your staff

  • Learn what the signs of mental ill health may be.
  • Make sure managers check on how their staff are doing.
  • Remember that everyone is different and will have been affected by the pandemic differently. So, seek to tailor your support and management to the needs of each member of staff.

5. Don’t forget about employment rights

  • Consider if there are any staff on the national minimum or living wage which increased in April.
  • Look at when your staff holiday years end and how much leave do staff still need to take. 
  • If any worker has a disability then you must consider making reasonable adjustments.

Read our coronavirus advice for employers and employees.

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