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 have and 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.

Guidance continues to be informed by our framework for decision making and Strategic Framework. 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 safe workplaces.

If workers think their working conditions are unsafe, they have rights under employment legislation. Further guidance can be found at ACAS.

For workers who are members of trade unions, you may wish to also speak to your relevant trade union representative. Further 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, or see their website for other ways to get in touch.

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. Further support for you or your organisation around concerns or advice relating to Coronavirus when returning to work can be found on their website.

For trade union health and safety representatives contact details, who are available to support the development of workplace risk assessments for non-unionised workplaces, contact:

First published: 15 Dec 2020 Last updated: 4 Mar 2021 -