Back from vacation, back to work?
12 August 2020
In the coming period, some employers want to return to their permanent workplace as much as possible. And that can be quite exciting: it will be a bit busier at work, but also in (public) transport, for example. What can you do to stay at work as safely as possible? What should you pay attention to, and what can you expect from your employer? Our experts are happy to explain it to you.
Government measures come first
Many government measures have already been relaxed, but there are a few that will continue to apply in the near future. They always go for guidelines from your employer or industry association. The most important? The one-and-a-half meter rule. In some professions you cannot keep that distance, which is why the RIVM has advice for contact professions prepared to work safely. You also have to stay at home if you suffer from:
• cold in the nose
• running nose
• to sneeze
• sore throat
• mild cough
• increase to 38 degrees or fever (higher than 38 degrees)
Does one of your housemates have a fever or shortness of breath? Then everyone in your household must stay at home until everyone is free of complaints for 24 hours. Do you work in a crucial profession or vital process? Then you only have to stay at home if you suffer from a fever and one of the other health complaints.
Furthermore, the hygiene measures are still important, also in the workplace:
• Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds.
• Cough and sneeze into the inside of your elbow.
• Use paper towels, throw them away immediately and wash your hands.
• Do not shake hands.
Corona protocol at work
The above rules and guidelines are general. For each sector, company, workplace or office building, these can therefore be further supplemented with its own corona protocol in order to work safely and responsibly. Such a protocol may contain measures such as:
• fixed working days for you and your colleagues
• plexiglass between desks
• fixed workplaces to prevent spreading
• tape on the floor to mark enough distance
• move desks further apart
• no shared devices and resources, such as keyboards
• maximum number of people in the lift
• split up several stairwells: you can go up with one, and go down with the other
• a limited number of colleagues or customers in one room at the same time
Ask your employer or trade association for the corona protocol that applies to you. Also talk to your employer to contribute ideas or voice your concerns. Have you been working from home lately and are you excited to go back to work? Please indicate it clearly and on time. You may be able to (partially) work from home for a little longer. Also keep talking about it with your colleagues: you might find safe ways to work together.
Also try to make agreements with your employer to avoid busy places or times. Do you need public transport during rush hour? Discuss whether you can start a little later or earlier so that you can travel at a calmer time. You can also see if there are other ways to get to work and what your employer can do for you. Spread can also prevent pressure on the work floor.
Still feeling unsafe?
Not everyone adheres to the guidelines and rules equally well. Do you feel unsafe because your employer is not taking the measures seriously, or because your colleagues are not complying with the regulations? Report it. Point out the government and organizational guidelines to those around you and make it clear what you are (not) comfortable with. If necessary, take the initiative to draw up a protocol. In spite of everything, do you still feel unsafe in the workplace? Please do not hesitate to contact us. We will discuss your options together.
Back from an orange or red area
Have you been on holiday in a country or area with an orange or red travel advice? Then the government urgently advises to stay at home for two weeks. In addition, your employer can prohibit you from coming to work, as he is responsible for the safety and health of your colleagues. Whether your salary continues during such a home quarantine, you can read in this article about vacation in corona time.
Do you have questions about the measures at your workplace or would you like to discuss them with an independent employment law expert? Or is your employer making it difficult to follow up on government measures? Please do not hesitate to contact us. We are available every working day from 8.00:18.00 am to XNUMX:XNUMX pm via firstname.lastname@example.org and 0345 851 963.
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