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Implications of unlockdown 4½

The FT are running a story (£) on the impact of the Govts proposed unlockdown measures. It is subtitled, “Ministers prepare to give companies greater discretion over Covid-secure arrangements “. While measures on sharing pens might easily be repealed, our experience is that small employers are not equipped and have little appetite to engage in what is to them an expensive Health and Safety policy.  It seems that they will remain required to have a covid safety policy but their duty will be to a more general duty to keep the workplace safe and specific measures such as ventilation, one way systems and limited lift use will no longer be mandatory. The govts requirement that only essential workers go to the office will also be relaxed i.e. working from home becomes the employer’s decision and not that of the law or guidelines.

All these decisions will become ones that can only be challenged retrospectively i.e. we will need HSE or Tribunal interventions.  As a branch we will look at how we distribute advice from the Health & Safety Executive, and will continue to argue for easier access to H&S training for our members so they can represent themselves effectively.

As a branch we are in conversations with our Regional Office/Committee and the CEC to see if we might use the courts to develop better case law around bullying which to me includes looking to see if we can develop precedents that work related stress is a work place injury.

Posted: 9th July 2021

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