Talking with your workers about preventing coronavirus (COVID-19)

Latest advice on keeping workplaces safe from COVID-19

This page is up to date with working safely guidance in England. You can check the most up to date measures on GOV.UK. There are different regulations and guidance for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The latest advice on continuing to keep workplaces safe will help you assess the risks and reduce COVID-19 transmission. This includes links to advice from public health bodies and other government departments on measures not implemented by HSE.

3. Working at home or going to the workplace

Employers should decide whether it is appropriate for people to:

  • work from home
  • go to the workplace
  • combine homeworking with going to the workplace

Consider whether home working is suitable for workers facing mental or physical health difficulties, or those with a particularly challenging home working environment, and talk to them about it.

HSE has guidance on home working. We also have advice on talking to workers about stress, wellbeing and providing support.

Guidance on GOV.UK outlines steps that an employer should take when thinking about who needs to go to the workplace and who can work from home.

This includes:

  • consulting with the workforce
  • talking with those that consider themselves at higher risk

Going to the workplace

It may be useful to talk to workers who need to go to the workplace about continuing to work safely.

This is particularly important if anything has changed in your workplace.

You may also need to repeat discussions about workplace safety if:

How can I help my workers if they’re worried about going to the workplace?

It’s natural that people might be anxious about going to the workplace.

They could be worried about things like:

  • when they will be allowed or asked to go to the workplace
  • changes in your workplace, such as new working procedures
  • arriving at work

Ways you can help include:

  • talking through any specific concerns your workers may have
  • telling them how you’re helping them work safely in the workplace
  • explaining how you are reviewing health and safety and managing risks
  • discussing any possible new ways of working
  • making it clear you will always listen to any concerns they may have

Questions to help you talk about going to the workplace

  • What are your main concerns about going to the workplace?
    • Think about what worries you most
    • Think about how we can reassure you
  • What else can we do to help people going to the workplace?
    • What can you do?
    • What can your manager do?
    • What can the company or organisation do?

Find out more

Read our guidance on protecting vulnerable workers.

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) has guidance on talking to workers about going to the workplace.

We review and update this page regularly to reflect any changes in guidance.

Page last reviewed: 19 January 2022

Next review due: 30 January 2022

Updated 2022-01-19