From tomorrow, Thursday 21 May 2020, indoor workplaces – including offices, warehouses, manufacturing facilities and workshops – can consider allowing employees to return to resume some workplace-based activity, where this is considered essential to maintain the business function and where this work cannot otherwise be undertaken from home.
The Government has published Guidance concerning the operation of indoor workplaces. This guidance does not apply to businesses and premises that must remain closed, as set out in the COVID-19 Safe Exit Framework: Level 3 Policy.
Businesses that are eligible for re-opening, should make the following key considerations:
- Whether it is essential to the business function for employees to return to the workplace. If home-working can continue, employees should not be asked to return to the workplace during Level 3.
- To plan in advance how they are going to mitigate the risk of spreading the virus during the course of operating. A risk assessment must be undertaken, and appropriate measures put in place before opening to reduce and manage the risk of coronavirus transmission.
- The number of people working within the building must be able to comfortably maintain physical distancing at all times, and there must be adequate welfare and hygiene provisions available for the workforce.
- A record of the risk assessment and hygiene plan should be available for inspection by the relevant authorities, including the Health and Safety Inspectorate, upon request.
Businesses that meet the above criteria may wish to display a ‘We Are Workplace Ready’ poster to demonstrate they have followed the indoor workplace guidelines. The poster can be downloaded on the Government of Jersey website.
The publication of this Guidance and the return to work of indoor workplaces is linked to the passage of legislation in the States Assembly earlier this week, namely the Covid-19 (Workplace Restrictions) (Jersey) Regulations 2020 which along with existing Health and Safely legislation, will provide the Government the required legal powers to safely ease restrictions under the Safe Exit Framework.
The Minister for Health & Social Services, Deputy Richard Renouf, said:
“These wider changes form part of the measures easing restrictions in Level 3 of our Safe Exit Framework. It will allow businesses – if they can ensure the health of their staff and that physical distancing can be maintained – to consider allowing employees to return to the workplace where this is considered essential to maintain the business function and where this work cannot otherwise be undertaken from home.
“I am aware of the impact that living and working from home can have on the mental health our community. The Government has endeavoured to find a balance between the safety of Islanders, support for mental health and wellbeing and the need for workplaces to return to support the economy in a managed and safe way.
“However, I would like to reiterate that where it is not essential to the business for employees to return to the workplace, Islanders should continue to work from home while we remain in Level 3.
“This is another careful, measured step within our Safe Exit Framework that we hope will begin to restore a sense of normality to our Island. These measures – and the corresponding guidance – will be continually reviewed as we move through this crisis.”
If you have any questions or concerns on these changes, please email. firstname.lastname@example.org
Government of Jersey News Release.