Last updated: 29th March 2021
This month we saw the first step towards the easing of lockdown as schools reopened for face-to-face classes and small outdoor gatherings become possible in the leadup to the Easter holidays. As restrictions are slowly lifted, more businesses will be opening back up and planning how to bring people back to work safely will be a priority for many.
But as vaccine hesitancy continues, and other countries see an upward trend in COVID-19 cases again, it’s important employers and HR teams stay cautious and keep updated with the latest Government advice and guidelines, being vigilant about the safety and wellbeing of their staff and businesses.
Here are some useful online resources we’ve found to help HR continue to support their staff.
Gov.uk coronavirus page
The Government hub is where you can find the latest COVID-19 statistics and announcements regarding safety measures. The hub also offers links to guidance for employers to ensure they are taking necessary safety steps. Regularly checking in on the Government website helps you keep abreast of the latest updates to then help your organisation stay compliant, as well as any government-backed financial support you may be eligible for.
The Government has published ‘COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021’, detailing what England’s roadmap looks like as we transition out of lockdown.
The CIPD’s ‘Responding to the coronavirus’ hub
Find the latest COVID-19 news and advice from renowned HR and people development leader, the CIPD. They provide numerous guides on supporting employees through COVID-19 related issues, including furlough and staff wellbeing.
The CIPD has provided an employer’s guide on preparing for the wider rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines.
They cover questions on:
- encouraging employee vaccination
- creating a policy regarding vaccination
- ‘vaccine hesitancy’ among employees for varying reasons
Acas’ coronavirus hub
Acas continues to provide advice for both employers and employees on what to do and how to stay compliant regarding COVID-19 when tackling complex employment issues. The hub’s sections include advice on:
- working safely
- furlough and pay
- holiday and leave
- and more.
Acas also has a video series on looking after mental health during COVID-19, along with practical tips for employers, managers and employees.
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, and more. With practical tips for the workplace on maintaining mental flexibility, preventing burnout, supporting lines of communication and establishing Wellness Action Plans, plus many other supportive tools, Mind’s content can help you and your team build mental resilience, and better support your wider workforce.
Trades Union Congress’ reports listing
The TUC’s research provides great insights into workplace issues and workers’ concerns, like their report on supporting older workers who were furloughed or unemployed during the pandemic.
If you’re an employer in an industry where a union is recognised, habitually checking in on this website will provide an additional perspective on issues you might need to take into consideration when implementing new strategies in your workplace.
Health and Safety Executive’s ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19): working safely’ page
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) provides an overview of what employers should be doing to ensure their workplace is COVID-19-secure.
You will find the latest guidance and advice on:
- PPE in both healthcare and non-healthcare work
- COVID-19 spot checks and inspections
- cleaning and hygiene
- carrying out COVID-19 risk assessments
- and more.
Full Fact ‘Get the facts: Vaccines’ page
Full Fact is an independent factchecking charity in the UK. They check claims made by politicians, the media, as well as viral social media posts.
With the appearance of conspiracy theories and false claims regarding the different COVID-19 vaccines, it’s important that everyone doesn’t mix fact and fiction together. Should employees in your workplace raise concerns about the vaccines or other current affairs, it’s helpful to be able to cross-reference information to ensure veracity.
NCVO’s coronavirus guidance for voluntary organisations
The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) has a page dedicated to guidance on navigating the COVID-19 crisis for charity and voluntary organisations. It covers general topics organisations should consider regarding the pandemic, e.g. supporting staff working from home, helping employees maintain healthy wellbeing, self-isolation advice, as well as specific considerations for voluntary organisations, e.g. hiring and supporting volunteers, delivering services, and more.