Respiratory infections including Coronavirus (COVID-19): safer workplaces and public settings

Guidance for businesses and workplaces (including transport operators) on reducing the risk of respiratory infections including COVID-19 and supporting staff and customers.

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Fair Work

Adopt Fair Work practices and a flexible approach to dealing with the impacts of COVID-19, in order to protect the health and wellbeing of your workforce. Central to the Fair Work approach is the expectation that employers, trades unions and workers work together to ensure workers are treated fairly and their concerns are taken seriously.

Use the Fair Work Employer Support Tool to help strengthen your practices. The Fair Work First Guidance also provides good practice examples to help adopt Fair Work practices.

Employers are encouraged to consult closely with employees (and trade unions where appropriate and applicable) and encourage them to raise questions or points of concern.

Adopt the Distance Aware scheme to give reassurance to people wishing to wear the symbol, and to raise awareness of the scheme and what the symbol means more widely to staff, members or customers.

The Highest Risk List ended on 31 May 2022. Everyone who has been on the list has been advised for some time that they can go into the workplace unless advised otherwise by their GP or clinician. Some staff, including those who have been on the Highest Risk List, may continue to feel more cautious or anxious about their safety in the workplace. Managers should have sensitive, supportive conversations with staff that consider their health, safety, physical and psychological wellbeing, as well as personal views/concerns about risks. Wellbeing support services should also be promoted to staff. If anyone still feels unsafe following this, further information and advice may be available from:

  • Occupational Health Services (if your employer offers them)
  • the Health and Safety representative in your workplace
  • Human Resources (your employer’s Human Resources team, if there is one)
  • your trade union or professional body
  • staff with no union representation can seek advice and assistance from the STUC and Scottish Hazards
  • the Citizens Advice website or the free Citizens Advice Helpline on 0800 028 1456, (Monday to Friday, office hours)
  • the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS)

There is further advice about going or returning to work for people who were on the Highest Risk List.

Equality, mental health and wellbeing considerations

Support your staff to access all the employee wellbeing and support services available to them. See the following sources of information:



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