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Introduction to this document

Coronavirus - letter explaining control measures taken

Where you’ve implemented the government’s COVID-19 Secure guidelines applicable to your type of workplace, it’s worth writing to staff to reassure them about what control measures you’ve taken.

Control measures

One of the requirements of the “COVID-19 Secure” guidelines is that you carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment before re-opening your workplace, in consultation with your employees or trade union. Once you’ve done that, you’ll then proceed to put in place a series of physical control measures designed to enable social distancing, wherever possible, and otherwise manage the risk of coronavirus transmission in the workplace. Our Letter Explaining Control Measures Taken enables you to set out to your staff, in list form, a summary of the temporary measures you’ve taken or are in the process of implementing. We have extracted many of the measures in our list from the COVID-19 Secure guidelines, but you’ll need to add to or amend our list according to your particular type of workplace and your own business circumstances. Do make sure though that you closely follow the COVID-19 Secure guidelines applicable to your type of workplace, as you need to be taking steps to reduce the coronavirus risk to the lowest reasonably practicable level. There’s an option to include with the letter a copy of the results of your COVID-19 risk assessment. Our letter also asks the employee to contact you if they have any concerns they’d like to discuss prior to their future return to work.

Consultation

Where you don’t have trade union-appointed safety representatives in place, you have a duty under the Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations 1996 to provide information to and consult with staff on matters relating to their health and safety at work, including on the introduction of any measure at the workplace which may substantially affect their health and safety, and you can either consult with your employees directly (often effective if your business is only small) or through elected employee representatives. Our letter therefore envisages that you carried out your risk assessment in consultation with the relevant representatives. The functions of the employee representatives are to make representations to you on potential hazards at the workplace that could affect the employees they represent, and on general matters affecting the health and safety at work of these employees, so it’s important they’re involved here.