Workforce training and compliance
As a minimum we expect:
- training around processes and working environment expectations to be provided for all staff, including those who work part time, to understand their new working environment. This includes reaffirming existing workplace practices and safety measures and also addressing changes that have been to practices, layout, procedures etc made as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
- safe delivery of training to third parties delivering outsourced elements of the business
- relevant training for staff who undertake the cleaning of a premises
Every workplace should look and feel substantially different for workers. Mitigations will change how workplaces operate and how they are cleaned. Key mitigations include:
- physical distancing
- good ventilation (see also Advice Card – Ventilation advice for Employers)
- advice on wearing face coverings
- effective hand and respiratory hygiene
- appropriate risk assessment
- supporting staff to self-isolate
- supporting working from home and flexible working where possible
Training methods should clearly communicate organisation-specific actions put in place to promote and support the above mitigations. They should also set out the expectations of staff in ensuring compliance of these measures.
Training for all staff coming back to work can:
- help demonstrate commitment to taking the risks of COVID-19 seriously
- build workforce confidence that they are returning to safer workplace
- reinforce staff responsibilities
As a minimum we expect:
- organisations to establish measures, in collaboration with trade union or workforce representatives to monitor compliance with relevant regulations and processes put in place to enable safe working
Under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HSWA), your relevant enforcing authority (for how you control the risk of coronavirus) will be either:
- the Local Authority (LA) Environmental Health Service
- the Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
The relevant enforcing authority is listed for all types of premises. Enforcing authorities will apply the same requirements.
HSE can be contacted by phone on 0300 003 1647 or online at HSE contact form
HSE and LAs Environmental Health Services have agreed to maintain the way they allocate different businesses for enforcement according to existing health and safety law for the purposes of workers’ health and safety.
Where the enforcing authority identifies employers who are not taking action to comply with public health guidance to control COVID-19 health risks to workers, they will consider a range of actions to improve control of workplace risks including the provision of specific advice to employers through to issuing enforcement notices or even prosecution.
Organisations should put in place robust local arrangements to monitor compliance with new operational arrangements. This should be done with trade union or workforce representatives. Advice, guidance and support from external enforcement authorities should be sought where necessary. Organisations are encouraged to use compliance self-assessment tool in workplaces to undertake regular self-assessment of the measures they have in place to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.
A single point of contact has also been established for trade unions and workers to help us understand how all COVID-19 workplace guidance is being implemented. This will help shape and refine guidance based on the real experience of workers in the workplace.
This contact is not intended to be a reporting mechanism for potential breaches of legislation.