HM Insights

Will employers see an increase in COVID related responsibilities as we emerge from restrictions?

In short, there are is no easy answer to this question.

Recently, ScotRail announced that its staff are “not expected” to enforce masks being worn on trains by passengers, on the basis that they did not want to put them in "difficult positions". Looking beyond the position taken by ScotRail, it does highlight the shifting landscape of employer responsibilities.

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In Scotland, the current position is to remain working from home where possible. Notwithstanding this, employers would be wise to start thinking about what returning to the office might look like, because tied up within that, will be a whole raft of factors to consider.

There will of course be the health and safety implications, together with all of the protocols that will need to be implemented to ensure and maintain a safe working environment. It is probable that staff will feel differently about the return to the office.  This difference in views may create friction in the workforce.

For those who are in a public facing sector, employers will likely find themselves weighing up the responsibilities owed to both their employees and members of the public.

As we emerge into a post COVID world it is likely that employee will use existing rights such as the right to request flexible working to seek adjustments to their working hours or conditions.

Get in touch - we're here to help

We have seen a significant number of recent tribunal cases surrounding COVID and the workplace, and the implications of ongoing responsibilities will no doubt lead to more such claims.  For further advice on rights and obligations, or any other employment related matter that could affect your business or employment, our team of specialist employment lawyers can assist.

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