May 11, 2020 / 5:22 PM / 24 days ago

UK issues guidance for employers as lockdown cautiously eased

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain published guidance on Monday on how employers should begin cautiously re-opening the economy, including advice on re-designed workspaces and staggered shift systems.

The business department reiterated that Britons should work from home where possible, but go to work if they are unable to work any other way.

The guidance applies to businesses that are currently open and also shops that might begin a phased re-opening from June 1, with guidance for other sectors to be published later.

“This guidance provides a framework to get the UK back to work in a way that is safe for everyone,” business minister Alok Sharma said.

“As we are able to reopen new sectors of the economy, we will continue our collaborative approach working with a wide range of stakeholders, to provide guidance for additional workplaces.”

The guidance said food and drink outlets should continue to be takeaway only. It also said that while face coverings could be used on an optional basis, the use of extra protective personal equipment should not be encouraged outside clinical settings.

Businesses should also conduct risk assessments to see what measures were needed, the government said, adding that it expected all firms with more than 50 employees to publish the results.

Reporting by William James, Estelle Shirbon and Andy Bruce, writing by Alistair Smout; editing by Stephen Addison

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