The government has announced the implementation of its “Plan B” for dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, bringing back some social restrictions in England to curb the spread of the new Omicron variant of the virus.
The government update is attached below, and is summarised as:
- Wear a face covering from 10th December 2021
- Work from home if you can from 13th December 2021
- Use the NHS Covid Pass for attending specified venues from 15th December 2021
CMN has already been contacted by members asking how the ‘Work from Home if you can’ message should be interpreted so it is essential you know the definition provided by government allows the employer to decide who works at home. The government definition is:
- Workers who can work from home should do so from Monday 13 December. Anyone who cannot work from home should continue to go into work – for example, to access equipment necessary for their role or where their role must be completed in person. In-person working will be necessary in some cases to continue the effective and accessible delivery of some private industries. If you need to continue to go into work, consider taking lateral flow tests regularly to manage your own risk and the risk to others.
- Employers should consider whether home working is appropriate for workers facing mental or physical health difficulties, or those with a particularly challenging home working environment.
- For those who attend their workplace, the Government will continue to provide up-to-date Working Safely guidance on how employers can reduce the risks in their workplace. Businesses should consider this guidance when preparing their health and safety risk assessments, and put in place suitable mitigations.
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