The removal of Covid restrictions today (Monday, July 19) does not mean an easy situation for employers, law firm Royds Withy King has warned.
Decisions about how and when to bring staff back into the workplace and how to manage employees who have different views about safety, mask-wearing and remote working are likely to create new stress points and potential conflict in the workplace, according to Kate Benefer, a partner in the firm's employment law team.
“The government has passed onto employers the responsibility for deciding what measures are necessary to ensure a safe workplace," said Kate.
"Whilst the easing of restrictions will be welcomed by businesses, it will inevitably create further confusion and potential points of conflict in the workplace.
“Employees and employers may, for example, have different perspectives of risk and what is safe, and that will be difficult to manage.
"Businesses have an obligation to carry out a risk assessment, but this is difficult when there are still many unknowns with Covid.
“Employers will need to work hard to avoid a two-tier workforce divided by where they work. This can lead to resentment and allegations over favourable treatment, particularly if promotions or allocations of work are perceived to be unfair,” said Kate.