Last updated: 18th July 2021
‘Freedom Day’ for England is coming on 19 July. But as people raise concerns about uncertainties around what this will look like, it’s important employers and HR teams stay cautious and vigilant about the safety and wellbeing of staff and customers.
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.
While Step 4 of the COVID-19 roadmap starts in England on 19 July, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are on separate plans, so it’s important you refer to the relevant country.
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 the COVID-19 vaccine rollout and staff wellbeing.
In line with Freedom Day, the CIPD has updated their page on ‘Returning to the workplace FAQs’.
They cover questions on:
- health and safety obligations
- employer’s liability should an employee catch COVID at work
- dealing with employee anxiety about returning to the workplace.
Acas’ coronavirus hub
Acas continues to provide advice for both employers and employees on what to do regarding COVID-19 when tackling complex employment issues. The hub’s sections include help with:
- hybrid working
- getting the vaccine for work
- long COVID-19
- lay offs and short-time working
- and more.
Acas regularly holds free webinars tackling the most current employment and HR challenges organisations are facing, such as handling small scale redundancies and supporting employee mental health.
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. Mind offers 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. Their content can help you and your team build mental resilience, and better support your wider workforce.
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.
The HSE has recently released further guidance on considerations for keeping workplaces safe. It includes advice and additional resources regarding:
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 fact-checking charity in the UK. They check claims made by politicians, the media, as well as viral social media posts.
Despite a good COVID-19 vaccine rollout in the UK, the appearance of new variants and anxiety over Freedom Day are still causing a lot of misinformation about the vaccines to spread. It’s important for people not to mix fact and fiction. Should employees in your workplace raise worries 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.