What challenges will employers face as people return to the workplace?

The UK Government has started to gradually ease lockdown measures, with many non-essential businesses being allowed to re-open, and employers now looking at how to put their return to work plans in place.

Work spaces will need to be reorganised to accommodate social distancing measures and health & safety requirements, in accordance with the COVID-Secure guidance, while communicating these changes is a key component of staff safely returning to work.

According to the latest research, 36 per cent of employers in the UK stated that implementing safety measures to comply with the Government’s COVID-secure guidance is the biggest challenge when returning to work, while 29 per cent said that addressing staff concerns about the return to work was a key challenge. Many employees may find returning difficult and with some still having significant safety concerns – particularly those with underlying health conditions.

Employers also face further challenges, with the introduction of ‘flexible furloughing’ from 1 July allowing the opportunity to bring furloughed workers back part-time, but these decisions present a challenge in itself. Employers will have to contribute to the costs of furlough in August meaning some difficult decisions may have to be made now.

One-quarter of businesses have stated that they are considering redundancies or a restructuring of working hours, with 24 per cent of employers saying that they have implemented pay cuts, or have plans to do so, with 17 per cent altering work patterns.

The situation will be different for each employer, with considerations to be made on how to deal with a reduction in work, bringing back furloughed employees, and redesigning the office to accommodate staff in accordance with the COVID-secure guidelines.

All of these issues create significant issues for employers. We can help with pragmatic advice to help you through these difficult few months to ensure your business is in the best place possible. We can advise on all aspects of the challenges you face with easy to use documents and practical advice.

For help and advice, contact our expert team at AGS HR Solutions today to discuss your requirements.