The Fitzrovia Partnership is a Business Improvement District representing businesses in the heart of London’s Fitzrovia.

Telephone: 020 3146 4260

11 -13 Bayley Street, London, WC1B 3HD

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Recovery Phase

Who should go to work?

Objective: Office workers should work from home if they can. Employers should ensure workplaces are safe for anyone who cannot work from home.

Office workers who can work from home should do so. Public sector employees working in essential services, including education settings, should continue to go into work where necessary. Anyone else who cannot work from home should go to their place of work.

Employers should consult with their employees to determine who needs to come into the workplace. Extra consideration should be given to those people at higher risk.

When employers consider that workers should come into their place of work, then this will need to be reflected in the COVID-19 workplace risk assessment and actions taken to manage the risks of transmission in line with this guidance.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Considering the maximum number of people who can be safely accommodated on site.
  2. Planning for a phased return to work for people safely and effectively.
  3. Monitoring the wellbeing of people who are working from home and helping them stay connected to the rest of the workforce, especially if the majority of their colleagues are on-site.
  4. Keeping in touch with off-site workers on their working arrangements including their welfare, mental and physical health and personal security.
  5. Providing equipment for people to work at home safely and effectively, for example, remote access to work systems.

Communications and training

Returning to Work

Objective: To make sure all workers understand COVID-19 related safety procedures.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Providing clear, consistent and regular communication to improve understanding and consistency of ways of working.
  2. Engaging with workers through existing communication routes and worker representatives to explain and agree any changes in working arrangements.
  3. Developing communication and training materials for workers prior to returning to site, especially around new procedures for arrival at work.

Ongoing communications and signage

Objective: To make sure all workers are kept up to date with how safety measures are being implemented or updated.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Ongoing engagement with workers (including through trades unions or employee representative groups) to monitor and understand any unforeseen impacts of changes to working environments.
  2. Awareness and focus on the importance of mental health at times of uncertainty. The government has published guidance on the mental health and wellbeing aspects of coronavirus (COVID-19).
  3. Using simple, clear messaging to explain guidelines using images and clear language, with consideration of groups for which English may not be their first language and those with protected characteristics such as visual impairments.
  4. Using visual communications, for example whiteboards or signage, to explain changes to schedules or breakdowns without the need for face-to-face communications.
  5. Communicating approaches and operational procedures to suppliers, customers or trade bodies to help their adoption and to share experience.

Staff canteens and restaurants

Objective: To keep the workplace clean and prevent transmission

Steps that will usually be needed:

  1. Hand washing facilities or hand sanitiser must be available at the entrance to canteens and their use should be supervised. 
  2. Break times should be staggered to ensure no overcrowding, so that staff can adhere to social distancing rules. 
  3. Queue points on the floor should be clearly marked to ensure social distancing is possible. 
  4. There should not be any sharing of food and drink by staff who do not share a household. 
  5. Minimise self-serving options for food and drink. As far as possible, food served and/or displayed should be individually wrapped to minimise contact and avoid spread of infection. 
  6. Increase the frequency of cleaning, especially hand touch surfaces, such as table tops, drinks levers, keypads, grab-rails, elevator buttons, light switches, door handles, and any surface or item which is designed to be, or has a high likelihood of being touched. 
  7. Plates, cutlery and glasses should be handwashed in hot soapy water or washed with detergent in a dishwasher rated for disinfection. 
  8. Canteens and restaurants should be thoroughly cleaned after each group of staff use them. 
  9. All doors and windows should remain open wherever possible to allow greater ventilation and prevent touching of window handles (subject to appropriate fly screening). 
  10. A system to reduce the use of cash for food or to facilitate the exclusive use of debit cards and contactless payment should be considered. 
  11. Where possible, cohorts of workers should be matched to zoned canteen areas (see below for description of cohort working). 
  12. Workplace canteens providing on-site (sit-in) services must now: 

– ask at least one member of every party of customers or visitors (up to 6 people) to provide their name and contact details 
– keep a record of all staff working on their premises and shift times on a given day and their contact details 
– Keep these records of customers, visitors and staff for 21 days and make them available when requested by NHS Test and Trace or local public health officials to help contain clusters or outbreaks 

– display an official NHS QR code poster so that customers and visitors can ‘check in’ using this option as an alternative to providing their contact details

– adhere to General Data Protection Regulations 

You should collect this information in a way that is manageable for your establishment. If the information cannot be collected in advance, it should be collected at the point that visitors enter the premises.  Read further information about these requirements.

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