Plan B: Stronger measures in England to counter Omicron
Working from home
On the back of the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday, we met with Lloyds Banking Group earlier today to reiterate the need to put your health and safety first when considering how to apply the new guidance in bank branches and offices/sites.
We made it clear that we expect the business to issue instructions for all staff who can work from home to do so and to agree that all hybrid / test and learn pilots should be stopped for now.
These commitments were confirmed which aligns colleagues in England with those in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Although face coverings are only legally required in the settings listed under the When to wear a face covering, Government advice is that you should continue to wear a face covering in indoor places which are crowded and enclosed and where you may come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
Lloyds Banking Group, with our support, asks that you continue to wear a face covering when moving around an LBG workplace unless you’re exempt. (Some people are exempt from having to wear face coverings in any setting. Furthermore, anyone with a health condition or disability, which means they cannot wear a face covering, has a reasonable excuse for not wearing a face covering).
And don’t forget, if you work in a branch you’re entitled to a 5 minutes per hour paid mask break so you can get some fresh air in between serving customers. If you’re having difficulty sorting this out locally, get in touch with the officer who supports your branch.
We also sought and received an ongoing commitment to paid time off for booster jabs, just as it has been for the first two.
Ahead of the outcome of scientific tests on the new variant, the message from the Government, scientists and health professionals is clear – a coronavirus booster vaccine helps improve the protection you have from your first 2 doses. It helps give you longer-term protection against getting seriously ill from COVID-19. Check out how and when to get your COVID-19 booster vaccine.
If you’re pregnant an individual risk assessment must be carried out and any adjustments should be put in place immediately. Pregnant women of any gestation should not be required to continue working if this is not supported by the risk assessment.
LBG’s current policy is that staff who are 28 weeks or more pregnant who cannot work from home should remain at home on full pay. We’re working with the business to consider what more can be done to keep pregnant colleagues safe.
We’ve asked LBG to monitor positive cases of the Omicron variant so we can work together to make further adjustments to the working environment if needs be.
Of course, more stringent measures may also be implemented by any of the UK governments. We’re keeping an open dialogue going with your employer to make sure it continues to do everything it can to keep you healthy and safe at work.
We’ll update you as and when things change. And if you have any queries or comments in the meantime, get in touch with the officer who supports your workplace
Thanks for your continued support.