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COVID-19 and engaging with staff

Information on engaging with your staff during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

​It’s important that you take the time to involve your workforce in understanding the potential issues and identifying solutions to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in the workplace, and agree on the best ways to implement these. 

The pages below will help you do this.

  1. Why I should engage staff in consultation
  2. How I should consult with staff
  3. How I should carry out meetings
  4. What topics I should discuss with staff
  5. Other sources of help and support

1. Why I should engage staff in consultation

There are many reasons to engage your staff in planning their return to work or how to continue operating during the pandemic.  Employees might have concerns and anxieties about their safety and as their employer, you should take the time to listen, understand, share and work together to address issues.

You should

  • explain how the business plans to reopen or continue operating whilst ensuring the safety of all of its staff 
  • listen to their questions and concerns, and encourage suggestions and solutions
  • discuss the options and their implementation and agree on a process to implement a safe return.

There is a legal duty on employers to engage with and consult employees or their representatives on “changes in the workplace that could substantially affect their health and safety”.

You can consult employees directly, or depending on the size of your organisation you can consult with their health and safety representative, Trade Union Representative or another mechanism for this purpose.