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


We continue to work with employers, trade unions, regulators and others to develop and review guidance to help different sectors create and maintain safe working environments for our safe and sustained economic recovery.

As each workplace is different we expect individual businesses to work with trade unions or workforce representatives to determine how best to apply guidance in their circumstances.

The guidance seeks to help employers and workers create and maintain safer workplaces.

If workers think their working conditions are unsafe, they have rights under employment legislation. Information and support is available from ACAS. (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) which gives employees and employers free, impartial advice on workplace rights, rules and best practice

For workers who are members of trade unions, they may wish to also speak to their relevant trade union representative. Members may also wish to familiarise themselves with details on trade union activity

Employment rights are a reserved matter. Further information can be found on the UK Government website.

Please also refer to the Joint statement on fair work expectations during the transition out of lockdown issued by the Scottish Trades Union Congress and Scottish Government.

Workers can also raise enquiries about working safely with the Health and Safety Executive and with Local Authority Environmental Health Officers.

Scottish Hazards provide a free and confidential service for workers seeking workplace health and safety advice and support. This phone line is open Monday to Friday: call 0800 0015 022 for support.

Healthy Working Lives (part of Public Health Scotland) offer support to employers and workers both returning or already back at work and worried about the safety of either themselves or their employees. This includes a mentoring service to enable businesses to get peer support from those familiar with requirements and best practice, for tasks such as completing risk assessments.

Non-unionised workplaces can access support for the development of workplace risk assessments by contacting


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