Last updated: 26th February 2021
With the intent of getting back to ‘normality’ in a safe way, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced earlier this week a roadmap for easing lockdown restrictions in the next few months. Along with this clearer timeline, the COVID-19 vaccine deployment programme continues to progress smoothly, so it’s no wonder people are feeling optimistic about what’s to come.
But as infection rates remain high, long COVID affecting many people, and different variants still being discovered, the easing of lockdown will have to be a gradual progression, factoring in the ongoing vaccine rollout and efficacy, and pressures on the NHS.
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 now 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.
In line with the Government’s roadmap announcement, the CIPD has updated their ‘Self-isolation, local lockdowns and quarantine FAQs’ section.
They cover questions on:
- when working from home will end under the roadmap
- quarantine rules
- sick pay for employees infected with COVID-19
- and more.
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 sick pay, due to financial hardships caused by COVID-19 and self-isolation to employees.
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.
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.