The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is still with us. Moreover, the UK Government is saying that the UK is "now seeing a second wave" of COVID-19 with Boris Johnson advising; "We are once again asking office workers who can work from home to do so."
Businesses be aware the second wave of COVID-19

The initial wave of COVID-19 was unprecedented and most employees and customers were understanding and accommodating as a result. Positively, faced with such adversity, many organisations have learnt valuable lessons and heroically adopted new practices that will stand them in good stead for any second wave of the pandemic. 1 & 2

Many employers will have put contingency plans in place to ensure that they are as well-prepared for a second wave of COVID-19 as possible, even as they plan for a potential gradual return to their business premises over the coming months. For those businesses that may require that additional support during these times, here are Gallagher’s top tips on weathering the impending second wave of COVID-19.

Mental Wellbeing

Employee mental health is particularly at risk during such uncertain times, perhaps now even heightened where employees had thought a return to the workplace was in sight. As we move into the winter months, it’s important to ensure employees are as well-supported as possible in the event of a second wave.

Practical guidance for your employees can be found here:

Top tips for managing your wellbeing while working from home.

Be cyber secure

Are there still cyber security or data protection issues that have not yet been addressed whilst your employees are working remotely? Many businesses may have expected to have returned to the secure IT environment of their business premises by now; for those that haven’t ? Read Gallagher’s Remote Working Guidance for Businesses.

Are you sitting comfortably?

Might now be the time to review your arrangements for ensuring compliance with display screen equipment rules for employees working from home? Although the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) advised there was no increased level of risk for those working at home temporarily,3 the rules on long-term home working haven’t changed and the risks still need to be controlled. Should a workstation assessment be conducted?

Read about Healthy Working, a cost-effective E-Learning and Self-Assessment Tool.

Review your organisational risks

Similar to conducting a risk assessment for planning to reopen following the first wave of COVID-19 cases, your organisation should conduct a risk assessment in preparation for a re-emergence of COVID-19 cases. The complexity of risk assessments will differ from business to business and it is acknowledged that not all organisations have the in-house competency, capability or expertise to utilise the supplied areas requiring improvement, and further assistance may be required. Read our Validation of your COVID-19 Risk Assessment article to find out how Gallagher can support you.

Reporting of COVID-19 in the workplace

Incidences of COVID-19 in the workplace are reportable to the HSE under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR). For those businesses that have reopened their workplaces and will, it is hoped, remain open should a second wave of the pandemic hit, it’s vital that you know what to do if an employee contracts COVID-19. This quick guide aims to summarise what businesses need to do if they are affected.

This note is not intended to give legal or financial advice, and, accordingly, it should not be relied upon for such. It should not be regarded as a comprehensive statement of the law and/or market practice in this area. In preparing this note we have relied on information sourced from third parties and we make no claims as to the completeness or accuracy of the information contained herein. It reflects our understanding as at 29/09/2020, but you will recognise that matters concerning COVID-19 are fast changing across the world. You should not act upon information in this bulletin nor determine not to act, without first seeking specific legal and/or specialist advice. Our advice to our clients is as an insurance broker and is provided subject to specific terms and conditions, the terms of which take precedence over any representations in this document. No third party to whom this is passed can rely on it. We and our officers, employees or agents shall not be responsible for any loss whatsoever arising from the recipient’s reliance upon any information we provide herein and exclude liability for the content to fullest extent permitted by law. Should you require advice about your specific insurance arrangements or specific claim circumstances, please get in touch with your usual Gallagher contact.