Where we are now
- home working
- physical distancing
- fair work
- working with trade unions or workforce representatives
- four nations
- business support
Scotland follows a COVID-19 levels system. There are 5 levels (0-4) and each has a different set of rules.
Find out the level and rules for an area using the postcode checker.
Currently, and prior to COVID-19, employees with 26 weeks service have the legal right to request flexible working, which can include homeworking.
Working from home is a vital public health measure for slowing the spread of the virus in the general population. Homeworking has not been a choice for the organisations that have implemented it, nor was it a choice for the workers who are practising it. Those who are working from home are contributing to the public health effort, and making it safer for those workers who cannot work from home – it is an effort we must continue.
As such, remote working should remain the default position for those who can do so. Where that is not possible businesses and organisations are encouraged to manage travel demand through staggered start times and flexible working patterns.
The Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on working from home is intended to support employers and the self-employed to continue to facilitate working from home.
Physical distancing requirements are set out in the schedules of the Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions and Requirements) (Local Levels)(Scotland) Regulations 2020.
A person who is responsible for carrying on a business or providing a service must take the below measures:
- to ensure that the required distance is maintained between any persons either on or waiting to enter the premises (except between members of the same household or a carer and the person assisted by the carer)
- to ensure that they only admit people to its premises in sufficiently small numbers to make it possible to maintain that distance
- to ensure that the 2 metres required physical distance is maintained in all cases (1 metre in relation to public transport and hospitality settings), between any person waiting to enter the premises (except between members of the same household or a carer and the person assisted by the carer)
- to help calculate how many people can physical distance within your work place environment please see Coronavirus (COVID-19): calculating physical distancing capacity in public settings - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)
As Scotland continues to ease lockdown restrictions, organisations including the Institute of Directors (IoD), SCDI, STUC, COSLA and SCVO have signed a fair work statement underlining the collaborative approach needed between employers, unions and workers to create and maintain safer workplaces
This guidance is underpinned by a spirit of collaborative working between organisations and workers. Through this document, the term organisations and trade union or workforce representatives is used in that context. Recognising that organisations have a legal responsibility to maintain workplace health and safety and must consult with the health and safety representative selected by a recognised trade union. Or if there is not one, a representative chosen by workers. Organisations cannot decide who the workforce representative will be.
We are working with the UK Government to align our approach and guidance, where possible, and on the basis of scientific evidence on the levels of infection in Scotland. This guidance is intended to work alongside UK Government guidance and aims to assist organisations, businesses and workers to ensure a safe working environment. Readers will recognise consistent themes within this guidance and the UK Government’s Working Safely during COVID-19 publications.
There has been an unprecedented package of support announced from both the Scottish and UK Governments to support businesses since the start of the pandemic. This support should help many organisations preserve their business, maintain jobs and pay their workers throughout this crisis. Further business support information is available here.