Any officer workers who can work from home should do so, but those who cannot, should continue to go into work – for example, to access equipment necessary for their role or where their role must be completed in person. The ‘Coronavirus: how to stay safe and help prevent the spread’ guidance has been updated to reflect the latest guidance in England.
The UK government acknowledges that in-person working will be necessary in some cases to ‘continue the effective and accessible delivery of some public services and private industries.’ Workers are being advised that if they need to continue to go into work, they should consider taking lateral flow tests regularly to manage their own risk and the risk to others.
The work from home guidance is guidance and not law so people will not be committing an offence by coming into the office when they could have worked from home, but employers need to keep in mind their health and safety obligations.
Key Action Points for Human Resources and In-house Counsel
Employers should consider what processes they will put in place for employees to work from the office e.g. will employees need to explain why they need to work from the office or will it be left to their discretion. Employers should also check the Working Safely During Coronavirus guidance regularly for more information about the changes to restrictions that have been introduced in response to the Omicron variant and to ensure they are complying with the latest workplace health and safety recommendations.