In September 2021 the UK Government announced its plans to deal with Covid-19 in England through the Autumn and Winter. These plans consist of two different approaches – a ‘Plan A’ and a ‘Plan B’, which are designed to stop the NHS from becoming overwhelmed.
Plan A is Government’s preferred approach of and aims to minimise disruption to everyday life. This approach will see no implementation of restrictions on the general public or businesses, instead focusing on:
- A continued rollout of vaccinations and booster-jabs
- Investing in and utilising new treatments for Covid-19
- Identifying and isolating positive cases using test and trace
- Advice on how to limit the spread and protect yourself
- Managing international risks at the border
Current advice to businesses
By law, businesses must not ask or allow employees to come to work if they are required to self-isolate.
Business are also encouraged to take the following steps to help minimise the spread of Covid-19 in the workplace:
- Ask employees to stay at home if they are feeling unwell
- Ensure an adequate supply of fresh air to indoor spaces.
- Provide hand sanitiser to enable staff and clients to clean their hands frequently
- Clean surfaces which people touch regularly
- Display an NHS QR code poster for clients to check in using the NHS COVID-19 app, so they are alerted if there’s an outbreak and can take action to protect others
- Consider using the NHS COVID Pass.
Plan B is the Government’s back-up plan in the event that Plan A is not sufficient for keeping hospitalisations at a sustainable level for the NHS. The Government has stated that it would provide as much notice as possible to the public and businesses ahead of any implementation of Plan B.
This plan seeks to reduce the spread of Covid-19 whilst also minimising the impact on businesses, society and the economy:
- Advising people to work from home if they can
- Re-introduction of legally-mandated face masks in public settings
- Communicating clearly to the public that the risk level has increased and they need to act cautiously
- Introducing ‘vaccine passports’ for certain public venues and mass gatherings
Plan B: Business continuity planning
With the possibility of the implementation of Plan B this winter, we would recommend that businesses begin preparations for this eventuality. Having a clear plan in place should stop you being caught off guard and allow business to carry on relatively uninterrupted.
We have documentation and templates available to help with any employees working from home – including a Home Working Risk Assessment and a Home Working Policy template for remote workers.
Additionally, we also have a Mass Testing policy template and a Covid-19 Vaccination Policy template available.
These policy and document templates are available at no extra cost to My HR Club members and My HR Hub retained clients.
If you need any additional support, please contact us to find out how we can support you and your business.
Find out more about membership of My HR Club, our low-cost, self-service HR offering for small businesses, by clicking here.