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Government signals return to office working

Coronavirus / 17 July 2020

The Government has set out the next chapter in their plan to reopen England which has implications for employers.

The guidance, released today, has seen a shift in emphasis, from employees working from home wherever possible, to employers being given more discretion to decide how and where their employees work, provided they can do so safely.  It can be viewed here and will apply from 1 August.

The Prime Minister explained that this could mean employees continuing to work from home.  However, he also said (as confirmed in the guidance) that employees could be brought back to their physical place of work if it has been made COVID-19 Secure.

Employees should be consulted with about these kinds of changes and should only return to the workplace if it is safe.

Good communication between employer and employee is, as always, vitally important when considering these issues.  There will not be one solution that suits everyone.

Our Employment team can help with preparing communications to employees and consulting with them.  If you need advice, please get in touch.

If you need help to comply with your COVID-19 obligations to create a safe work environment, contact our Regulatory team.


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This update is for general purposes and guidance only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. You should seek legal advice before relying on its content. This update relates to the prevailing circumstances at the date of its original publication and may not have been updated to reflect subsequent developments. If you have general queries about our updates, please email:

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