Leicester employer's guide to the implications of Plan B measures.
This week, the government announced that “Plan B” measures will be introduced across the UK in a bid to slow down the spread of the Omicron variant.
One of the measures revealed was that employees should be encouraged to work from home, from Monday 13 December onwards, if they are able to do so.
Beth Bearder, senior associate specialising in employment law at Nelsons, said: “Now the government has invoked the ‘Plan B’ measures, all affected businesses will have to revert back to their staff members working from home, if they can do so effectively.
"Fortunately, the majority of organisations and their employees are now well versed in remote working conditions, so adapting to this change will not be as much of a surprise as it was back in 2020.”
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“As was the case when lockdown restrictions were first introduced last year, we recommend
that employers check, review and update their home working policies – or implement a
policy if one doesn’t already exist – in order to ensure employees know what is expected of
them when working from home.
“Many companies will have also made plans for Christmas parties and festive social events.
However, in the light of the Plan B measures, it’s advisable that these do not go ahead. If
workers still want to meet up socially and make their own arrangements, they are still able
to do so as that is their prerogative.”
boosters. This could manifest in several ways such as allowing flexibility on working hours,
to people can travel to appointments, or offering employees paid time off to attend
“While it’s hoped that the latest restrictions will only be in place for three to six weeks, and
some businesses will be planning to close for Christmas anyway, it’s still advisable for
employers to think about procedures for keeping in touch and how to use technology to
communicate with their members of staff effectively.
While the majority of businesses will already have these processes in place, it may be worth reviewing them to ensure they’re still relevant.
“It’s also crucial to ensure that employees have the required equipment to facilitate effective
home working. This will require consideration of IT provisions as well as HR policies around
working from home.”
“During the press conference, the Prime Minister stated that ‘you should work from home if
you can. Go to work if you must, but work from home if you can.’ This means that employees
who are unable to work from home, can continue to go into the workplace.
“All employers have an obligation to manage Covid-19 risks for employees, customers and
visitors, such as improving ventilation, one-way systems and enhanced cleaning to ensure
those who have to come into the office are as safe as possible during the winter months.”
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Written by Levitha Biji
Levitha is a broadcast journalism graduate, currently studying MA International Media and Communication Studies at the University of Nottingham. Having lived in three countries and being fluent in three languages, she's passionate about global journalism. She's recently finished an internship with Niche Magazine and also runs her own blog, Levitha Mariam.