The Scottish Government’s planned move to beyond Level 0 of Covid-19 related restrictions was confirmed by the First Minister on 3 August 2021. However, the previously indicated transition towards a return to office working does not form part of the changes to come into effect on 9 August 2021.
Rather, in the First Minister’s statement, it was stated that the Scottish Government “will continue to advise home working where possible for now.” This is one of the protective measures remaining in place post August 9, and which will continue to be kept under review.
The guidance published by the Scottish Government on returning to offices last month has not yet been updated to take account of this, but we envisage that this will follow.
It looks likely that a phased return to the office for certain staff over the coming months may be more likely than a single return date, given the guidance and other implications of a full return to the office. Indeed, the First Minister also expressly recommended considering a hybrid model of home and office working.
We’ve already seen employers embrace hybrid working and have advised on taking steps to implement this approach. These steps can include contractual amendments, risk assessments, introduction of relevant policies, and engagement with staff. If your business is considering the longer term implications of home working, the return to the office, or hybrid working, please contact one of the employment team to assist.