Reflecting concerns about rising COVID-19 numbers, the rules for social gatherings have tightened once again with the Government’s new ‘rule of 6’, according to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s latest announcement. As more businesses bring workers back on site and with the Job Retention Scheme (JRS) coming to a close next month, employers must continue to stay vigilant and ensure the safety and wellbeing of their staff and business.
Here are five of the best online resources we’ve found to help HR continue supporting staff, whether they are returning to the workplace or working from home.
Gov.uk’s coronavirus page
The Government hub offers links to guidance for employers to ensure they are taking the necessary safety measures. Beyond providing scenarios and tips for managing infection risks and maintaining sanitary working conditions, the site also details how businesses can assist the NHS Test and Trace service.
Regularly checking in on the Government website helps you keep updated on the latest guidance to help your organisation maintain legal compliance.
The CIPD’s ‘Responding to the coronavirus’ hub
Find the latest news and advice from renowned HR and people development leader, the CIPD. They provide numerous guides on supporting employees returning to the workplace, handling redundancies, furlough and staff wellbeing.
With the Government encouraging workers to return to the workplace, using the CIPD’s in-depth ‘COVID-19: returning to the workplace’ guide, employers and HR professionals can follow a thorough return-to-work plan, which highlights:
- reorientation and reintroduction of staff to work premises
- how you can support managers who will be feeling unseen pressure
- how you can maintain inclusivity, as you make staff feel involved in their return to work.
Employers seeking to demonstrate sensitivity to their people’s concerns, and readiness to answer their questions, will benefit from the CIPD’s content.
ACAS’ coronavirus hub
The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service has provided advice for both employers and employees on what to do and how to stay compliant when tackling complex employment issues. You will find advice on:
- working safely
- furlough and pay
- holiday and leave
- and more.
While concise, it’s a useful delineation of the massively complex employment issues at hand, including variables you may not have considered, such as adjustments to contractual employment and sick pay for self-isolation. ACAS’ hub provides an excellent starting point for employers, as well as a useful resource point as you navigate various COVID-19 challenges.
Mind’s coronavirus information hub
Mental health charity, Mind, has compiled numerous resources for tackling mental health issues caused by COVID-19-related challenges. The charity provides guidance on looking after your wellbeing, handling anxiety and loneliness, as well as managing feelings as lockdown eases, and more. With practical tips for the workplace on maintaining mental flexibility, preventing burnout, supporting lines of communication and establishing Wellness Action Plans, plus a litany of other supportive tools, Mind’s content is designed to help you and your team build mental resilience, and better support your wider workforce.
Trades Union Congress’ research and analysis page
This TUC web page is a handy reference tool for employers and HR managers that want to think about what more they can do to reassure staff going forward. With the JRS reaching its end, the TUC has published a proposal on a new job protection and upskilling plan for workers affected by the crisis. It outlines a temporary working scheme designed to prevent mass unemployment and to help businesses move forward by upskilling staff.
TUC’s research provides great insights into workplace issues and workers’ concerns that have yet to emerge on the Government’s agenda. If you’re an employer in an industry where a union is recognised, habitually checking in on this website will provide an additional perspective to issues you might need to take into consideration in your return-to-work strategy.
For businesses to reopen and thrive, employers must safeguard the physical and mental health of their staff and their customers. These resources can help bring you one step closer to achieving this.