Workforce training and compliance


Every workplace should look and feel substantially different. Physical distancing and enhanced hygiene has changed how workplaces operate. Training continues to be essential to building a common understanding of requirements within new working norms and instilling confidence that changes made contribute to a safe working environment.  

As previously, suitable training methods will need to be implemented to enable effective delivery of relevant overarching and business-specific measures. Employees will be expected to work in a way which maintains physical distancing in line with the business and physical distancing guidance. It is acknowledged that for many small and micro businesses identifying the right training approach may be challenging. If this relates to you helpful material may be available via your trade body on issues like enhanced hygiene practices and practical online tools to aid training.

Training is essential prior to or on a return to work. Businesses should consider an induction process for all staff covering new, enhanced hygiene and physical distancing measures. This can help demonstrate that businesses are taking the COVID-19 risks seriously and have adapted their working environment accordingly. This should have the effect of increasing confidence amongst the workforce, sending the message that the workplace is safe while also being clear on individual employee responsibilities.

Training gives assurance and aids compliance, reinforcing the importance of safe working. It will build confidence in the workplace that safety is paramount. Employers should also implement, with trade union and workforce representatives’ support where appropriate, robust local arrangements to monitor compliance with new operational arrangements. Remedial actions should flow from that monitoring and may be augmented by advice, guidance and support from external enforcement authorities, such as local environmental health teams.


Under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HSWA), your local authority Environmental Health Services will usually be the relevant enforcing authority for how you control the risk of coronavirus in the tourism and hospitality sector. In some cases, it may be HSE, but in any case, enforcing authorities will apply the same requirements.

Local authorities also have powers under public health legislation, for example, covering whether businesses should be operating and the requirement to take all reasonable measures to maintain 2/1 metres distancing.

HSE and LAs Environmental Health Services have agreed to maintain the way they allocate different businesses for enforcement according to existing health and safety law for the purposes of workers’ health and safety.

Where the enforcing authority identifies employers who are not taking action to comply with public health guidance and or regulations to control COVID-19 health risks to workers, they will consider a range of actions to improve control of workplace risks, including the provision of specific advice to employers through to issuing enforcement notices or even prosecution.


Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

First published: 16 Apr 2021 Last updated: 14 Jun 2021 -