Back to News

Back to work: employee safety concerns

Over half of UK employees on furlough hope to be back at work by the end of June. But many are still concerned about their safety in coronavirus times.

Those returning to work need reassurance that their safety is a top priority – whether the workplace is an office, shop or a construction site.

Employers must evidence that they are able to manage transmission risks.

Sarah Naylor, partner and head of commercial and property, commented: “It’s important to communicate with staff and recognise that people have very real fears. Employees need to be kept in the loop with planning and have regular updates. Loss of trust and loyalty could lie in store for businesses that get the process wrong.”

In a survey by Total Jobs, half the respondents said they have no idea what their employers return to work strategy is. While only a third believe they have been kept up to date by their employers.

Many workers feel more positive about employers who have kept them well informed and about a quarter say they are more loyal to their employer now.

Although 65% or workers believe it’s their employer’s responsibility to take care of their safety, around 25% have no idea what those measures should be.

Those who did have an idea said they wanted to see, in order of importance, strict hygiene rules across the organisation (63%) social distancing measures at workstations, masks and other PPE readily available, social distancing in break areas and lifts, Covid-19 anti-body tests for employees (41%), flexible working hours (40%), reduce number at work by shift working (35%), remote working (29%), closure of break areas/canteens (13%)

Unfortunately, 12% of workers believed their company would not take any specific safety measures.

Sarah added: “These findings make it essential that employers highlight what safety measures they have put in place and ensure the message is communicated clearly.”

See the government website for advice on ensuring workplace safety.

If you need legal advice on getting your business back up and running, call us for a no obligation chat about your options – 01302 320621 or email


Get in touch today