BECOMING COVID-SECURE Labour & European Law Review Issue 681 22 July 2020



Labour & European Law Review Issue 681 

Following the government’s announcement that home-working staff should be encouraged to return to their workplace next month, the TUC is calling on employers to ensure they have adequate safeguards in place before doing so.

Accusing the government of passing the buck to employers, the TUC points out that getting back to work safely is not just a matter of returning to the workplace. It also requires a functioning NHS Test and Trace system as well as a safe public transport system if people are to be able to physically get to work.

In addition, before reopening a place of work, employers have to complete a risk assessment and ensure that the risk to workers is minimised through the introduction of measures such as social distancing. They must also consult their staff trade unions.

The TUC is therefore asking employers to ensure they have taken the following steps before asking staff to come back to their workplace:

  • Completed their COVID-Secure risk assessments as required by law, in consultation with unions and their workforces
  • Published their COVID-Secure risk assessment on their website, as the government expects
  • Taken the actions from the risk assessment to enable safer working, such as requiring social distancing and supplying PPE if it is required
  • Shown flexibility and consideration for workers’ individual circumstances, including considering caring responsibilities, those who are shielding, and those who have other health conditions, whether mental or physical
  • Allowed workers who rely on public transport to have staggered start times to prevent a rush hour crush.


The TUC is also calling on government to make flexible working the default and give all workers the right to work as flexibly as possible from their first day in the job. This could include the right to predictable hours, working from home, job sharing, compressed hours and term-time working.

Finally, the TUC stresses the need for employers to remember that not everyone can return to the workplace full-time or straight away. For instance, people who have been advised to shield and those without enough childcare may still need to work from home for the foreseeable future.

To read more about carrying out risk assessments and creating a COVID-secure workplace, the TUC has created a COVID Secure Check page:

Articles shared by Thompsons relating to coronavirus (COVID-19) are correct at the time of publication. You should check the government’s guidelines for the latest information and advice at



If you are not yet a member of Unite 

Can you afford not to be?


join unite 2019


Join online today!

Unite is the largest trade union in the UK and Ireland with members across the private, public and voluntary sectors including manufacturing, public services, transport, food, finance and construction.  Even if you are not in work, there is a place for you in our community or retired member sections.

Have a voice, take action and make change happen.  Join the union today!

What you will need to join online today

  • Personal and employment details (if applicable).
  • An email account
  • Bank details – to set up a direct debit

The sign-up process

Joining the union could not be easier.  Just follow our simple steps below.

1. Complete the Join Online form

Complete the simple form with your personal information and current job details, if applicable.

2. Find out the cost of your membership

The online application will work out your monthly membership fee based on the information you give us. *

3. Set up a direct debit

If you are happy with a monthly fee, you can complete the Direct Debit and activate your membership right away.

4. Receive email & instant MyUnite access

You’ll receive an email telling you how to gain access to the MyUnite portal.  A membership pack will follow in the post which will include your Unite membership number.

* The online application will calculate your joining fee prior to any payment being requested.

Further membership information and contribution rates



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: