New guidance launched to help businesses safely back to work

The UK Government has published guidance for employers to help them get their businesses back up and running and workplaces operating safely.

The guidance follows the Prime Minister’s latest announcement, setting out steps to restart the economy, at the same time supporting businesses in keeping their employees safe.

The new guidance covers 8 workplace settings which are allowed to be open, from outdoor environments and construction sites to factories and takeaways. This sets out practical steps for businesses focused on 5 key points, which should be implemented as soon as it is practical:

  1. Work from home, if you can – but go to work if you need to
  2. Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment, in consultation with workers or trade unions – all businesses with over 50 employees are expected to publish the results of their risk assessments on their website
  3. Maintain 2 metres social distancing, wherever possible – redesigning workspaces if necessary
  4. Make adjustments where people cannot be 2 metres apart, to manage transmission risk – putting barriers in shared spaces, creating workplace shift patterns or establishing fixed teams
  5. Reinforcing cleaning processes – paying close attention to high-contact objects like door handles and keyboards, and suppling hand sanitisers at entry and exit points.

There are 8 workplace guidance documents now available under  the Government’s ‘Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance’ published on Monday, 11 May:

Offices and contact centres

Guidance for people who work in or run offices, contact centres and similar indoor environments.

Restaurants offering takeaway or delivery

Guidance for people who work in or run restaurants offering takeaway or delivery services.

Shops and branches

Guidance for people who work in or run shops, branches, stores or similar environments.

Construction and other outdoor work

Guidance for people who work in or run outdoor working environments.

Factories, plants and warehouses

Guidance for people who work in or run factories, plants and warehouses.


Guidance for people working in, visiting or delivering to home environments as well as their employers.

Labs and research facilities

Guidance for people who work in or run indoor labs and research facilities and similar environments.


Guidance for people who work in or from vehicles, including couriers, mobile workers, lorry drivers, on-site transit and work vehicles, field forces and similar.

The enclosed guidance applies to businesses currently open. It also includes guidance for shops which may be in a position to begin a phased reopening at the earliest from 1 June.

Guidance for other sectors that are not currently open will be developed and published ahead of those establishments opening, to give those businesses time to plan. We will continue to keep businesses up to date with developments as they happen.

If you or your business require assistance to navigate this difficult time, please contact your usual Beavis Morgan Client Partner or email

For further information about the Government measures to protect individuals and businesses, visit our COVID-19: Support for UK businesses hub.