BLM employment partner Julian Cox on the government's 'Road-map to re-open' the UK
Julian Cox, BLM head of employment law, London on The Prime Minister, Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP's pre-recorded statement to the nation broadcast at 7pm on Sunday 12 May 2020 - ‘Road-map to reopen' the UK:
"I’m expecting a greater degree of clarity this afternoon to help employers everywhere fully understand the practical steps that they can take to help re-start the economy via the government’s ‘Road-map to Reopen' the UK.
If you run a office, a retail operation, or are in the hospitality or logistics arenas you need the detail now around how your responsibilities will re-shape and an understanding of the specifics you need to put in place to avoid being open to claims from your employees.
The use of public transport to commute throws up some very interesting challenges – as it’s not yet clear whether PPE is mandatory- in London it’s ‘advised’* by Mayor Sadiq Khan but elsewhere it’s debatable. We could see local, regional and national variances on any of new measures announced/to be announced, which in this instance raises the spectre of employers potentially competing with the NHS for the supply of much-needed PPE. This could cause significant delays to their ability to reopen and restart operations.
As we wait for the detail later today and tomorrow, I still think that employment policy revisions and social distancing training will be up there as priority items for the majority of employers (where WFH is not possible), as they hope to encourage and convince their employees that it’s safe to return.
If you haven’t already started to plan to re-imagine your work-spaces with COVID-19 in mind, last night definitely put you on notice!"
Disclaimer: This document does not present a complete or comprehensive statement of the law, nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended only to highlight issues that may be of interest to customers of BLM. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in any particular case.