Acas Releases Updated Coronavirus Guidance for Employers

Washing handsThe Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) has issued updated coronavirus guidance for employers and employees, in line with the latest government measures regarding the outbreak.

The guidance, which is being reviewed by Acas on a daily basis, includes new details on the use of holiday leave and Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), hygiene in the workplace and advice for employees when they need to self-isolate.

Acas urges employers to:

  • keep everyone updated on actions being taken to reduce risks of exposure in the workplace;
  • make sure everyone’s contact numbers and emergency contact details are up to date;
  • consider extra precautions for staff who might be more vulnerable, for example those who are pregnant, aged 70 or over, or have a long-term health condition;
  • make sure managers know how to spot symptoms of coronavirus and are clear on any relevant processes, for example sickness reporting and sick pay, and procedures in case someone in the workplace shows symptoms of the virus;
  • make sure there are clean places to wash hands with hot water and soap, and encourage everyone to wash their hands regularly;
  • provide hand sanitiser and tissues for staff, and encourage them to use them;
  • consider if any travel or meetings are necessary and if meetings can be held remotely instead;
  • keep up to date with the latest government coronavirus advice on GOV.UK.

Employers are also reminded that they ‘must not single anyone out unfairly’. They must not treat an employee differently because of their race or ethnicity, for example.

Acas is constantly monitoring government announcements and will update its page when legal changes occur.