The current 'work from home' guidance is likely to be lifted next month in England, and employers will be in the final stages of their planning for a return to the office.
Even if a full blown return to the office is perhaps unlikely for most, it will be important to engage with employees now about their return. Employers should explain the risk mitigation measures they have put in place - if possible providing a video demo or preview of new office layouts. Employers should be open to accommodating employee questions or concerns, in particular from those with underlying health conditions or who haven't yet received a vaccination (because this is the right thing to do, but also to minimise legal risks). It may be appropriate to make accommodations or to delay the return for certain individuals. Also consider what additional wellbeing support employees may need in the coming months.
For those who are returning under a hybrid model, it may be necessary to make changes to terms and conditions (relating to place of work and to set expectations about time spent in the office attending events or training). It may also be appropriate to update or introduce homeworking guidelines to ensure health and safety, IT security and employee wellbeing are taken into account.
As ever, early engagement with employees on these changes will be really important.
Work from home guidance to end in England on 21 June, Johnson indicates Prime minister tells MPs government intends to take step when it moves to final stage of Covid reopening A government scientist source was reported as saying there was no reason to return to an office full-time if work could be done at home. Guidance that people in England should work from home if they can is to be dropped from 21 June, the prime minister has indicated. Boris Johnson told MPs on Wednesday the government intended to take the step when it moved to the final stage in its Covid reopening plans. “That is certainly our intention, provided we stay on track,” he told the Commons when asked about the proposal by the Tory MP Felicity Buchan. “We’ll wait until we’re able to say that with more clarity a bit later on because we must be guided by what’s happening with the pandemic. It does depend on keeping the virus down.” The guidance encouraging people to wor...