Many people are concerned about returning to the workplace. This concern is also felt by employers who are juggling the needs of their business and the welfare of their employees. 
Here is a list of questions that employees should consider asking line managers and HR departments ahead of the return-to-work. It may also be a useful list for employers to work through to consider some of the concern’s employees may have. 
1. Has a risk assessment been completed? 
All employers should have carried out a COVID 19 Health and Safety assessment to ensure they have checked all the potential risks to their staff. 
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published extensive guidance about how to conduct these risk assessments with a view to keep staff as safe as possible. CLICK HERE to read more. 
Ensure your employer has carried this out and they should have made workplace adjustments. 
2. What are the plans to protect staff in the workplace? 
The risk assessment will highlight the areas which need to be focussed on. All the recommendations should be implemented. 
More common measures which are being put into place include 
• Alternating working hours so less people are in the workplace at any one time 
• Installing hand sanitising stations 
• PPE where appropriate 
• Rearranging the workspace to allow for social distancing 
• Temperature checks for staff on arrival 
• Masks should be provided if dealing with members of the public 
Each workplace will have its own set of circumstances – so each employee should be made to feel safe. 
3. If I commute on public transport do I have to come in to work? 
Many people are concerned about the risks of travelling on public transport. If this is a major concern then exploring the options to continue home working may be the best option. Employers are not legally responsible for the risks associated with work commutes but its important that employers are aware of staff concerns. Try and work together to come up with a solution. 
4. What is your policy on remote working going forwards? 
Many people feel better working from home as they feel safe. If employees are productive then this might be the best solution for all concerned to continue with this mode of working. 
For parents working from home this has been a difficult time. What procedures have been put in place for parents and those juggling childcare issues? Again, its all about keeping lines of communication open and discussing individual circumstances. Some people may also be caring for elderly relatives or have people in the family with long term sickness who are at risk. There will be no policy that suits everyone – so this is all about being flexible. 
5. Who is the person in the business who is assigned to deal with concerns? 
Each business is different. It is important that employees know who they can speak to about their worries or concerns surrounding Corona Virus. Ensure you keep staff regularly updated and informed. As an employee ensure you keep your employer aware of any issues you are experiencing. 
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