De Unie, in your interest

Your collective labor agreement and industry

How do you keep your workplace safe and healthy?

March 27 2020
corona measures in retail

We have been getting this question a lot in recent times. And we understand that. In many workplaces it is simply more difficult to create a safe and healthy environment. Many employers can ask as many people as possible to work from home, but what if you work in a store? Then all employees are desperately needed on the work floor. Supermarkets, drug stores, and hardware stores may be busier than usual now. How do you ensure that you do not run a risk of corona infection here?

Duty of your employer

Your employer is legally obliged to provide a healthy and safe working environment. Doesn't he? Then that testifies to bad employership. Your employer must now ensure that you and your colleagues can observe the corona-related hygiene measures. For example, you must have all the means to wash your hands properly and be able to keep enough distance from each other and customers. Isn't that possible? Then something has to change.

Start the conversation

If you think that the work environment is not safe enough, discuss this with your employer. If necessary, involve colleagues in order to be stronger. Make proposals and try to find solutions in a reasonable and constructive manner that everyone is comfortable with. For example, propose to allow a certain number of customers into the store at the same time or temporarily prohibit cash payments. Does your employer refuse to respond to this? Then you can contact us. For example, we can mediate during the conversation with your employer, or advise which steps you can take further.

Responsible Shopping Protocol

On March 25, the government drew up a Responsible Shopping Protocol to help you and your colleagues in stores. This contains guidelines for your employer and for customers. Furthermore, many industry organizations have drawn up additional guidelines and rules, so ask them about this too.

Guidelines for your employer:

  1. Hang lines on the outside of the store and repeat them inside.
  2. Make sure that everyone in and in front of the store can keep 1,5 meters away from others.
  3. Indicate a maximum number of customers that may be in the store. Guideline: 1 customer per 10 square meters of retail space.
  4. Ensure maximum hygiene, especially at the pin terminal.
  5. Get samples, tastings, samples and trial items from the store; do not focus on experience.
  6. Where possible, work by appointment, so that you can dose customer contacts.
  7. Where possible, take an intake with the client, in which you can discuss the health rules.
  8. Have colleagues with customer contact take their temperature every morning.

Guidelines for your customers:

  1. Keep 1,5 meters away, in and in front of the store.
  2. Come to the store alone as much as possible.
  3. Do not come to the store if you have a cold or flu problem.
  4. Do targeted shopping and don't buy more than you need.
  5. Only touch the product you need.
  6. Always follow the instructions of the personnel.
  7. Pay with pin or contactless.
  8. Use a shopping cart whenever possible.

Conflict with a customer? Get your supervisor or manager involved!

By clearly communicating the extra rules and measures, you prevent misunderstandings and irritation among your customers. Does a conflict nevertheless arise, for example because the customer refuses to pay with a debit card? Then you can be assertive: after all, the customer does not follow the rules. Would you rather not do this, or do you not succeed in this way? Then call in your supervisor, manager or employer. They can then perform their duty: keep your working environment healthy and safe.

More information

Questions about this article? Or can you use some help, advice or support from our experienced lawyers with the measures at your workplace? Our lawyers get a lot of questions about this. The frequently asked questions about corona and work can be found here. Is your question not listed? Please do not hesitate to contact us. We are available every working day from 8.00 a.m. to 18.00 p.m., via and 0345 851 963.

Tip: INretail contributes to a safe shop

For the safety of you, your colleagues and customers, INretail has drawn up a number of useful documents. Step-by-step plans, checklists and posters with which you inform your customers about the measures in your store.


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