Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): returning to work safely

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

Coronavirus (COVID-19): returning to work safely


We are working with employers, trade unions, regulators and others to develop guidance to help different sectors create safe working environments for when people return to work.

The principles set out in our framework for decision making will inform our guidance. 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 know what to expect when they return to work.

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.

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 both employers and workers returning to work. 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: 31 Aug 2020 Last updated: 31 Aug 2020 -