THOUSANDS of workers will be ordered back to offices from July 19 – but the return will be phased.
He urged employers to set out plans for a “gradual return” to the office.
Mr Javid said: “We firmly believe that this is the right time to get our nation closer to normal life, so we will move to the next stage of our roadmap on July the 19th.”
上个星期, Chancellor Rishi Sunak issued a rally call to workers to return to the office, declaring that it was “really important” for younger staff.
But it is a small u-turn on the PM’s address last week, when he said that all working from home rules would be scrapped from next Monday.
It’s hoped that a return to the office will see a boost to the high street and make city centres “buzz again”.
But a surge in Covid-19 cases has causes ministers to proceed with caution.
Experts warn the UK is experiencing a third wave of infections, 和 half of cases being recorded in vaccinated Brits.
In a bid to reduce the virus spreading even faster, bosses will be asked to draw up their own plans on getting staff back into the workplace.
But it’s unlikely that everyone will make a comeback at the same time as a staggered approach is being encouraged.
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For many employees, 七月 19 will be the first time they have stepped back into the workplace in more than a year.
While some will be delighted with the prospect of no longer having to work from home, others have enjoyed the flexibility it has brought them.
这里, we speak to the experts to explain your rights when it comes to returning to the workplace during the pandemic.
Do I have to return to the office?
Employers have a legal right to tell you where they’d like you to work once the coronavirus restrictions have been lifted on July 19, depending on what’s in your contract.
But they must also take into account any advice issued by the Government and they shouldn’t force you back if you have reasonable concerns.
Danielle Parsons, an employment partner at law firm Irwin Mitchell told The Sun: “As an employee you must comply with a reasonable request from management.”
But she added: “You can’t reasonably return, for instance because it feels unsafe to travel. Workers shouldn’t be forced back, or public health put at risk.”
What one person might find safe, might be different for someone else she adds.
Citizens Advice encourages employers and employees to have an open discussion about returning to the office, each addressing their concerns before coming up with a plan.
Ms Parsons added that employers should understand that a one-to-one approach will work better than a blanket policy.
What if I feel it is unsafe?
Your employer must still ensure that you have a safe working environment when asking you back to the workplace.
The ending of lockdown rules doesn’t mean that employer’s responsibility to staff just falls away, Ms Parsons explained, and they will have to follow a Covid-secure risk assessment first.
Under Section 100 of the Employments Rights Act 1996, employees have the right to leave their jobs immediately if there is an imminent threat to health and safety.
If you’re worried that your employer isn’t taking all practical steps to promote social distancing at work, you should report them to your local authority.
If someone still doesn’t want to go back to work, they may be able to arrange with their employer to take the time off as holiday or unpaid leave.
But the employer doesn’t have to agree to this, ACAS said.
If you can’t reach an agreement with your employer and you refuse to attend work without a valid reason then this can in theory lead to your dismissal, said employment expert Gary Rycroft of online complaints tool Resolver.
What are my flexible working rights?
Despite employers being able to force you back into the workplace, in practice many are looking into a hybrid model.
For some staff in businesses that want workers back, childcare, especially with the school summer holidays approaching, may also pose a challenge for workers returning to the office.
Citizens Advice recommends you start by having an open conversation with your employer about your wishes, and consider making a flexible working request.
This is a legal right all employees have. You can include your reasons why working from home is better for you and will also help the business.
Bosses don’t have to agree, 然而, Ms Parsons adds that forcing workers back can damage working relationships, and risks potential legal claims.
她说: “Now more than ever, people are concerned about behaviour of companies to workers.
“Increased flexibility is more important and employers need to be mindful of this and think about accommodating worker’s needs.”