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Returning to Work After Lockdown: What Recruiters Need to Know

Recruiters

All the recruiters we’ve spoken to during the Covid-19 lockdown have been eagerly awaiting a return to work, both for themselves and for their contractors and clients. There are some obvious health and safety concerns which need to be considered, and in order to facilitate a swift return to something like “business as usual” it’s important that recruiters are able to advise their clients and contractors to help them move forward.

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Your end client’s responsibilities

Under the Government’s guidance, your end clients have the following responsibilities:

Working from home

Guidance is still very clear that work should be carried out from home wherever possible. Your clients are expected to encourage and facilitate home working where appropriate.

Rick assessments

Where work is to be carried out at the client’s premises, risk assessments are required. These must be carried out immediately where work activities have been taking place during the lockdown, and as soon as possible where work is to resume after a period of suspension.

Risk assessments should be carried out in consultation with workers, including employees and contractors, and the results should be shared with the entire workforce.

Vulnerable individuals

Your client’s risk assessments should identify any clinically vulnerable individuals, among their workforce and carefully consider whether the required activities put them at risk.

Social distancing

By now, we’re all familiar with the idea that life must be conducted at a distance from people outside our households, and even though the mandatory distance has changed from 2 metres to “1 metre plus” this still has huge practical implications for many workplaces. In order to facilitate social distancing, your clients may need to implement measures like:

  • Planning for the minimum number of people needed on site
  • Staggering start and finish times
  • Keeping teams together so each worker is exposed to fewer individuals
  • Using barriers to separate people from each other
  • Implementing one-way systems

Where tasks cannot be completed with full social distancing, the client should consider whether that task is absolutely necessary for normal operations. Where the task is necessary, steps should be taken to mitigate the risks, for example providing PPE and keeping activity time as short as possible.

Hygiene measures

Enhanced hygiene measures should be implemented for any work activity, including regular cleaning of work areas. Touch points like door handles, keyboards, handrails and keypads should be regularly disinfected. Additional handwashing facilities and/or hand sanitiser may be required.

Your contractors’ responsibilities

Health and safety law is clear that engagers and workers have a mutual obligation to work together to protect the health and safety of others, so while the client is responsible for health and safety at their premises, your contractors also have responsibilities.

Self-isolation

Your contractors are expected to monitor their own health and immediately return home if they show symptoms of Coronavirus (a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a loss or change to their sense of smell or taste). They should then self-isolate in accordance with government guidance.  They should also self-isolate if:

  • They have tested positive for coronavirus
  • Someone in their household is showing symptoms or has tested positive for coronavirus

Maintain Coronavirus security measures

Contractors should independently implement safety measures, like washing their hands on arrival and on leaving work, paying close attention to touch points, not touching their face with dirty hands and using PPE where appropriate. They should also diligently follow all the recommendations in the client’s risk assessment.

Reporting any issues

If your contractors become aware of any health and safety concerns at a client site, they should report these to the appropriate person at the client as soon as possible. They might want to involve you or their umbrella company (their employer) if issues cannot be easily resolved. It’s imperative that all parties work together to resolve any issues as quickly as possible.

If you have any questions or if we can help in any way, please call our expert team on 01296 468 483 or email info@orangegenie.com.

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