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Covid - PocketLaw's Return to Work Package

The Pocketlaw Covid - Return to Work Package brings together a number of resources to help employers navigate the legal and practical issues presented by the end of lockdown and the potential return of employees to workplaces. As with all Pocketlaw guides and templates, the package provides clear guidance and explanatory notes to help the user prepare the templates and understand complex legal issues.

Key legal issues when employees return to work

As Covid restrictions are lifted in the United Kingdom, employers need to re-evaluate their policies and practices to ensure they are fit for purpose in the current work environment. Failure to update policies can lead to potential liability. For example, an employer may be deemed to have breached its duty to ensure the health and safety of its employees if an employee becomes ill as a result of the employer’s inadequate health and safety policy. The Covid - Return to Work Package will help you to create new or update an existing health and safety policy so that it is suitable for the current environment.

Employers will also need to make decisions about working arrangements and expectations. These decisions should be clearly communicated to employees and recorded in the company’s working policies. Employers who do not record expected working arrangements in their workplace policies risk future disagreements with their workforce, who may not understand what is expected of them. Further, employers must be mindful that an unwritten working arrangement can become an implied term of the employee’s employment contract if it continues for a prolonged period. Working policies, such as a flexible working and a homeworking policy in the Covid – Return to Work Package, ensure that employees understand what is expected of them and mitigate the risk of future disagreements.

Rather than return to the office, an employee may request to work from home permanently or on a flexible basis. An employer is required by law to act reasonably when considering such a request. If an employer rejects a request to work from home without sufficient grounds for doing so, there is a risk that it could constitute indirect discrimination. Through a series of clear questions in the Covid-Return to Work Package, we help employers consider their employee’s requests and understand the grounds on which the requests can be refused. We also provide an interactive contract variation letter that can be used to amend the employee’s employment contract when the employer accepts the employee’s request.

Benefits of the Covid – Return to Work Package

  • Get informed about the health and safety, data protection and homeworking issues relevant to your workforce.
  • Understand your legal obligations when considering employee requests to work from home.
  • Draft Covid appropriate homeworking, health and safety and internal data processing policies that are tailored to your company.
  • Draft contract variation letters to amend an employee’s employment contract. 

All documents associated with employees returning to work are marked as:
Covid - Return to work package

To access the return to work package and all other necessary contracts and templates your business would need, sign-up for PocketLaw today.

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