Working safely during coronavirus

Talking to staff about workplace changes

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, staff might be anxious about:

  • safety and going to the workplace
  • not being able to go to the workplace, for example it might be difficult for them to work from home

Employers should encourage staff to talk to them about any concerns they have, and try to resolve them together.

Consulting staff

Employers should consult with staff about any changes to how they work during coronavirus.

This means the employer should:

  • ask staff for their views
  • consider any suggestions
  • try to reach agreement

Where they have them, employers should also consult their trade union or other employee representatives. They should check if there's any agreement with representatives that says they must formally consult.

Things to talk about could include:

  • how health and safety is being reviewed and managed – employers should share their latest risk assessment
  • any changes that could make the workplace safer, for example additional handwashing facilities, giving people different start and finish times to avoid overcrowding or floor markings to help people stay apart
  • who is currently on furlough and when and how this might change
  • any working from home arrangements

Employers can find guidance on talking with workers about preventing coronavirus from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Changes that might affect someone's employment contract

If there are any proposed changes that affect the written terms of someone's contract, the employer must consult with them or their representative, for example their trade union representative.

Find out more about changing an employment contract.

Last reviewed