“Businesses will welcome the Government’s new guidance for work, which reflects calls from the REC and other organisations. With the virus now in retreat, it is right to focus on opening up safe workplaces, not just working from home. More homeworking will be a permanent feature of the jobs market from now on – but there are lots of things businesses cannot do without workplaces open, and that would hold the economy back without today’s step. It’s also right that staff should be consulted on plans to open up. Employee confidence is as important as business confidence if we are to get growth going again.
“To make this work, employers will need to be familiar with clear guidance on making workplaces safe and they will need to update their risk assessments. Anxiety about using public transport is also likely to be a challenge in cities and larger towns. A robust plan for how the transport system will cope with extra demand and how important rules like mask-wearing will be enforced will be vital. Ensuring high performance from NHS Test and Trace will also be important to manging the virus.”