Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for call centres and customer contact centre environments

Guidance for call centre or customer contact centre environments on safe operation during the coronavirus pandemic.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for call centres and customer contact centre environments


On 16 November 2021, we published an updated Strategic Framework setting out our latest approach to managing the pandemic.

With the arrival of the Omicron variant businesses need to strengthen compliance with current protections including considering again whether people can work from home.

Organisations must take all reasonably practicable steps to support working from home. If people have worked from home earlier in the pandemic, we expect them to be enabled to do so again. Where a person can perform their work from home, they should do so. Homeworking as a public health measure in response to the pandemic continues to be a crucial factor in mitigating the transmission of the virus amongst the general population.

Where working from home is not possible, businesses and organisations are encouraged to manage travel demand through staggered start times and flexible working patterns.

Businesses must also take precautionary measures to protect against transmission of the virus. These may include measures around face coverings, physical distancing, ventilation, and respiratory hygiene.

We will continue to review this position regularly.

This guidance also sets out our expectations for organisations across five key areas. Organisations need to consider these to ensure premises are safe and the transmission of COVID-19 is minimised:

  • risk assessment - involving the workforce in a risk based approach
  • planning and support - supporting those who should come to work, and those who should not
  • operational guide and checklist - changing the environment to protect staff
  • deliveries, distribution and visitors -  protecting staff and those who come on-site
  • compliance

The guidance emphasises the importance of undertaking robust and regular risk assessments with full input from trade unions or  representatives, and to keep all risk mitigation measures under regular review.

After a risk assessment has been undertaken and measures to reduce the risk of transmission have been put in place, staff and their managers should use the Individual Risk Assessment tool, which uses factors including age, ethnicity, in addition to underlying health conditions to stratify risk.

Guidance will be reviewed on a regular basis in line with our priority to contain the spread of the virus, save lives and safeguard the NHS.

This document offers guidance only and does not amount to legal advice. Individual organisations may wish to seek their own advice to ensure compliance with all legal requirements. 

As each organisation is different, individual organisations should work with trade union or workforce representatives to determine how best to apply this guidance in practice.



First published: 20 Dec 2021 Last updated: 20 Dec 2021 -