Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): creating and maintaining safer workplaces

Guidance for workers and employers on returning to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): creating and maintaining safer workplaces


The Strategic Framework includes measures across a wide number of settings and provides a comprehensive approach to reducing infection rates and suppressing the spread of the virus. The Strategic Framework sets out the different levels of intervention that may be adopted. Each of the levels is designed to reflect the relative severity of the area it is being applied to, with progressively heightened restrictions implemented as necessary.

Employers are encouraged to regularly check their local COVID protection level and ensure alignment with the current COVID protection measures using  the postcode checker .

We encourage  all employers to the follow the principles of the Fair Work Convention’s Framework in the decisions they make during the pandemic .

Employers are also encouraged to use the compliance self-assessment tool to help both workplaces continuing to operate and those still restricted to plan for reopening.

Sector guidance

We have published guidance for the following sectors:

For organisations not covered by sectoral guidance (e.g. general offices), we have also produced general safer workplaces guidance

Health and safety experts and advisors from the business community are available on a voluntary basis to support the development of workplace risk assessments for the small and medium sized business .

Employers have legal obligations to make sure that decisions they make in response to Covid-19 do not directly or indirectly discriminate against workers with protected characteristics. The Equality and Human Rights Commission has produced guidance to help with decision-making as you consider restarting work.

Scottish Mediation offers a Covid-19 mediation service to resolve conflicts with workers. The service is free for organisations with up to 5 workers.

Close the Gap, through their ‘Think Business Think Equality’ toolkit, have produced guidance on employers supporting workers affected by domestic abuse during the pandemic. A more general online self-assessment resource for employers on domestic abuse is also available. 

Further information on all of the current business support and non-domestic business rates support is also available.

Health Protection Scotland have also produced additional guidance for non-healthcare settings


To support Scottish businesses to reopen for both staff and customers safely, we have produced a series of resources that highlight the latest guidance and regulations (April 2021) in Dropbox, together with where to find more information.

First published: 15 Dec 2020 Last updated: 27 May 2021 -