Following the announcement of the re-opening of non-essential shops around London, business owners must adopt a regular, clear, and succinct line of communication with returning staff. Beyond keeping business afloat, shop owners need to ensure that staff is well-informed regarding new protocols and that they can minimise the risk of legal pitfalls. Here are a few pointers for business owners to consider.
Before returning to work, strategists must plan ahead to keep employees updated and ease anxieties regarding returning to the workplace and travelling there. Employers must keep up to date with government regulations and prepare to manage redundancies or related issues.
A return to work may demand a new system for handling holidays, illnesses, or absences. Employers should also engage with workers directly when explaining changes, prioritising their staff’s physical, emotional, and mental well-being at all times.
Putting Health and Safety First
Every employer has a legal duty of care to ensure employee safety and must adhere to strict guidelines regarding social distancing measures and providing PPEs to those who need it. To minimise health risks and the spread of infection, it’s an employer’s responsibility to keep employees up to date.
Before opening, owners must perform a risk assessment to identify the appropriate measures they need to implement. From this assessment, they must inform staff about new guidelines by putting together a comprehensive guide detailing potential risks, who should and shouldn’t be returning to work, new social distancing measures, cleaning procedures, and workforce-customer management.
Who Returns First?
Depending on the size of the venue, the need for social distancing, and the amount of work currently available, employers must be clear about who returns to work first. Those who are not returning straight away should be kept in the loop regarding business decisions and new measures.
Additional to this, staff must be given leeway to plan for childcare or adjust working hours according to other household responsibilities. Within the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, some employees may remain furloughed or allowed to work part-time. However, employers must keep channels of communication open to relay updated information and make transitions easier.
Allow Employees to Ask Questions
Rather than being kept in the dark regarding business decisions, employees should be entitled to ask questions that employers are ready to answer. Due to a lack of childcare or potential illness, some staff may ask to be kept on furlough or to remain working from home. Before deciding on an appropriate response, employers need to keep in mind that each staff member is experiencing unique circumstances that require specific attention.
It’s important to keep in mind that despite taking extra measures, businesses may still face legal challenges when reopening. Keeping everyone looped into plans regardless of how much weight they hold in the business ensures a smooth transition back to work.
To best advise the reopening of business, employers should collaborate with qualified legal experts and relay all information to staff members and shareholders alike. By assessing the business’ circumstances, experts can help limit the potential of disputes and create a single, best approach.
To read up on more useful information regarding the reopening of non-essential businesses in the U.K. jewellery sector, visit Jewellery Focus. We strive to keep you informed on the latest jewellery news magazine content as well as the ins and outs of today’s new business environment.