COVID safety in the work place

Is it safe to go back to the office?

The view from our MD Joe Barbera:


I understand that our Prime Minister and his government are leading us through the single biggest crisis since the war and much of what they are facing is unknown. However, it concerns me that that they have not been able to get a clear, consistent message across to the people of this country throughout this pandemic.
This has not been helped by people thinking the rules do not apply to them and they can do what they want. I mean, I do not see the Conga being danced to anywhere else in the world right now but nevertheless, a lot of people seem to be confused about Boris’ message yesterday, including members of his own government, it seems.

During his address to the nation, our Prime Minister stated that, where possible, we should try to get back to the workplace today, whereas Dominic Raab has said we shouldn’t go back until Wednesday?? Well, which one is it?

For the economy to start moving again, we need absolute clarity about safety guidelines at work. Until people understand they will be safe and feel protected, there will be a reluctance to return to that environment. That opens another issue altogether for both employer and employee. If a member of staff feels the safety measures are inadequate and refuses to attend the office, what happens then?

We cannot also expect businesses that have closed for the past two months to just suddenly re-open their offices without appropriate safety measures and procedures in place. Not every business will have the office space to ensure social distancing so let us hope we get clarity over the coming days and businesses are given more than 24 hours’ notice to digest and implement these guidelines, as is being reported.

I sincerely hope the message coming out of government over the next few days is clear and workable to get the country moving again in the safest possible way. My view is that mass testing; track, tracing and isolation are key to this to avoid us going backwards once lock down eases. A second spike is a very real fear and looking at Germany, who seem to have handled the pandemic better than most, their increase in infections after easing restrictions should be taken very seriously. If this happens in the UK, let us hope our government’s plan to deal with it is better than their attempt to deal with the initial outbreak because if it isn’t, getting back to work will be the least of our worries.


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