With vaccinations on the rise and key dates in the UK’s plan to leave lockdown getting closer, many temporary workers are feeling mixed emotions. On the one hand, they are gaining their financial stability back after months of furloughs and other unstable employment, however, on the other hand, coronavirus is still with us and infections are on the rise.
Keeping temporary staff safe and reassured so they can return to work regaining normality and stability in their lives is paramount for the temporary staffing industry.
Most of the industry has been shut down for months, so making sure the reopening of events and hospitality is safe and secure for workers is vital to the stability of the industry overall.
Here are some guidelines and additional safety measures to combat and minimize the risk of infection.
It is imperative that temporary staffing businesses have a response plan in place, with uncertainty rife a response plan is a great option for settling the anxiety of workers and keeping businesses safe and responsive
A response and contingency plan outlines guidance for employers and employees in the event of a local break out, the movement of employees, the size of workspaces and venues, as well as guidance and steps to follow if an event needs to close early and many other unforeseen circumstances.
Having clear transparent communication is obviously one of the most important components for temporary staff returning to work, keeping staff informed on any national and local advice and guidance keeps staff informed and included.
Staffing agencies should be very clear and communicative on what’s being done to minimize risk and protect the health of temporary workers. Staff should receive continuous communication as situations change and remain up to speed on process and policy changes such as reporting sickness, sick pay, as well as a personal coronavirus risk assessment as it relates to health and personal circumstances of the members of staff.
Minimizing the risk of mental health-related stresses should be taken seriously as it relates to work activities and environments, measures should be taken to subside any risk.
Protecting your workforce
Keeping your workforces protected during this period is of the utmost importance, through well-informed communication of ongoing measures and clear directives following the official advice from the government and National Health Service, staff will remain informed on resources available to them.
Increased hygiene standards. Employers should increase hygiene standards in workspaces to minimize the spread, providing soap and hand sanitizer at station points and to individual staff. Increasing the time between intense cleans and keeping general workspaces clean at all times will cut down on risk. It is also important to consider frequent cleaning of work communal areas such as kitchens, break rooms, staircases, and lifts. For more information on how to minimize risk through cleanliness, you can refer to the latest government guidance
Social distancing. All necessary measures must be carried out in regards to social distancing and nonessential contact. Social distancing should be practiced in line with government guidance and were appropriate. To avoid the increased risk of transmission between employees working in close conditions, steps should be taken such as wearing masks, space separation, unnecessary physical contact should be avoided and the unnecessary touching of workspaces such as countertops should be also be avoided. Some staffing agencies may separate staff into groups or cohorts to avoid further contact.
Testing. Keeping staff informed with the latest information on testing protects staff and minimizing contact. Staff should report immediately if they feel they have been exposed to coronavirus or show any symptoms, they should be directed to the NHS Test and Trace service and communicate with any staff who may have been in contact with the employee. The NHS service will also get in contact with anyone the member of staff has been in contact with and where necessary tell them to isolate.
If a significant amount of staff present symptoms then the response and contingency plan will come into effect to offset any adverse effect it may have on the business’s operations and its members of staff. More information on testing is available on the UK government website and in this FAQs on testing and tracing.