COVID-19: Employers Guide for Returning to Work



The time has come for companies to start thinking about getting their staff back to work. Rules and regulations are finally relaxing, to try and get normality into everyone’s lives again. But where do you start? What do you need to know to ensure a safe and hygienic workplace for your employees?

Regulations are different for each industry, depending on how close you’re required to get to other individuals. For some such as hairdressers or nail technicians, it is crucial for employees to return to the business premise in order to provide the service, while for office based employees, services can still be provided from those working from home depending on the company and circumstances.

Firstly, a COVIDSafe plan needs to be developed prior to staff returning to work. The National COVID-19 Coordination Commission has created a template which businesses can use to prepare. The toolkit comprises three sections; keeping people safe, adapting your business for COVID-19 and advice on accessing support and assistance. The template includes links to regulations and information that is regularly updated to ensure your business is on top and aware of any changes and helps you prepare for different states of the pandemic. It should be revised frequently, particularly when restrictions and conditions change.

Some employees may be hesitant to return to work, fearing that their health may be at risk with the increase of social interaction. Employers need to reassure their staff that a COVIDSafe plan has been created to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, while still being mindful of their employees health and wellbeing, especially if they are deemed vulnerable. 

If possible, employers could plan a staged introduction with portions of staff returning at different times. A rotating schedule with different groups of employees working at the office during different days of the week is a great start. Employers should enquire about their employees’ mode of transport into work. For those that require public transport, they should be allowed to start at staggered times, in order to avoid peak hour on public transport systems. 

With modern open plan workplaces, employees are usually seated in close physical contact with one another. Physical setup of offices should be rethought to ensure regulations around social distancing, employee gatherings and hygiene practises are still met. Social distancing regulations recommend a minimum of 1.5 metres between individuals which can affect general office setups, hot desks and shared spaces like the lunch room. 

At Alsco, we’ve been providing hygienic and sanitised professional textile rental services throughout Australia since 1963. Known for our commitment to cleanliness and hygiene, excellence in service, and our friendly approach, we’re here to help you through this. Get in touch with us today if you require a commercial linen service, an uniform rental range, corporate clothing, chef uniforms and rubber floor matting to assist in your workplace getting back to normal.



Disclaimer – These articles are provided to supply general health, safety, and green information to people responsible for the same in their organisation. The articles are general in nature and do not substitute for legal and/or professional advice. We always suggest that organisations obtain information specific to their needs.