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Re-opening your workplace – considering some of the compliance focussed issues

by Julia Livesley


As we enter a period of time for preparation, it will be paramount that managers are considering a number of factors prior to reopening. We have prepared an ‘Out of Lockdown Thinking Tool’ which is free to download and helps you and your teams plan and organise for reopening your business.

If you haven’t done so already, communication with contractors and suppliers is vital. If you have maintained your compliance checks within the workplace and contractors have been able to service key plant and equipment, then your property should be ready for business. For those businesses that have closed and have not maintained systems such as fire, water, gas, electric… now is the time to ensure that contractors are booked to ensure plant and equipment is working. Contractors will also be able to give valuable advice regarding plant such as air conditioning and legionella control.

Hopefully, regular contact has been made with all employees who have been furloughed and they are excited and keen to get back to work and want to know the countdown plan for their return.

Our ‘Out of Lockdown Thinking Tool’ can help all of the management team consider options and ensure that they are prepared with having a plan in place. The tool is an excel spreadsheet which you can amend accordingly to your business. We won’t have thought about everything, but it’s a good start. We update the document on a regular basis and ensure that key links are present to the latest government advice.

During the time that the team has been furloughed, they might have had access to training modules to keep them up to date and feel involved.

Annual compliance training will probably be out of date and fire training will certainly be required on their return along with a fire drill. It’s also a good time to review the workplace fire risk assessment and ensure that the procedures are still correct with the evacuation resources available.

The government website will give us the guidance to follow regarding COVID procedures in the workplace. All of these procedures help us to lower the ‘risk’. The virus is still present and no workplace can be risk free. Encouraging employees, visitors, contractors and the guest to follow this guidance will all help to lower the ‘risk’.

Guest service has changed dramatically over the last year. Whilst we await the government guidance regarding social distancing, masks and washing our hands for the future, this will have an impact on delivery of guest service. We believe that there are some great opportunities here to focus everyone on the guest experience. For some businesses, when they open their doors they will go from nothing to absolutely flat out on the first day and guests will have high expectations.

It may be an option at this time to review the guest offering within the workplace and ensure that what we do, we do well. This could be by offering a smaller menu with not so many choices?

We also have to be aware that employees may have many concerns and ‘mental health and wellbeing’ is a hot topic. Whilst we all want to come out of lockdown and get back to a new normal, our employees will naturally have their own concerns. Now is the time to chat and listen. Rose McDonald in association with Stress Matters has developed the ‘Well-being Return to Work Journey Guidance’ which again, is free to download.


We would love to know how you and your team used our ‘Out of Lockdown Thinking Tool’ so please let us know!