Getting ready to return from lockdown

Mark Littlejohns looks at some of the steps organisations should consider in order to protect those who may be affected by their activities.

As there is currently no formal end to the government’s restrictions on work and travel, it is likely that when we do return to work from lockdown, we will have to deal with social distancing for the foreseeable future. As the timing and nature of any relaxation of restrictions are uncertain, it makes sense for employers to plan now for what is likely to be a phased return to the workplace—assessing current arrangements and considering what additional controls may be required.

Organisations will need to protect staff, customers, and others who may be affected by their activities by looking after their safety, health and wellbeing. Many people will be concerned and anxious about being in or travelling to places of work and will want to know what their organisation is doing to support their physical and mental health.


  • How social distancing can be implemented into current work locations and activities
  • What arrangements will remain, if any, for working from home
  • What staff need to do should they begin to feel unwell, both in the workplace and at home.
  • Advice on staff travel and working at locations not under their control
  • Working with customers, clients and contractors
  • Statutory, emergency and routine maintenance and inspection
  • Additional PPE requirements
  • First aid and fire arrangements
  • Mental health issues including anxiety due to return to work
  • Personal issues such as caring for a loved one, childcare, financial concerns, etc.
  • Ongoing consultation and communication with staff
  • Training/briefing in new requirements for safe working for returning staff and others affected by work activity.
  • Support line management in requirements placed upon them to facilitate an effective return of staff to the workplace.
  • Inclusion, equality and diversity considerations when selecting and implementing additional controls
  • Legal considerations such as updates to H&S Policy, safe working procedures and risk assessments.

If you need help and support, please contact us.