Getting UK Safely Back to Business
Business Reopening Checklists
Published August 4th, 2020
The State of UK Reopening
On 25 March 2020, The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 were implemented on the majority of British society and required businesses across the United Kingdom to temporarily close in an effort to slow down infection rates in the country. After almost two months of a temporary shutdown, the UK Government laid down on 10 May a phased and controlled reopening planto help the British economy gradually get back on track.
Phase 1 of the UK economy recovery strategy saw employees from industries such as food production, manufacturing, construction, distribution and scientific research return to work with social distancing rules in place; to support their return to work, the Government issued a set of guidelines to help make public transport journeys as safe as possible.
As health is a devolved matter in the United Kingdom, regulations on the introduction and lifting of restrictions shall vary among the four nations. The government of each nation is responsible for its own policies and legislation regarding decisions on reopening. Visit this resource page to know more about the varying restrictions in each devolved nation.
Reopening Guidance for Businesses in the UK
As the COVID-19 situation constantly evolves, it is crucial for business leaders in the UK to be always on top of the latest reopening guidelines to help protect the safety of their employees, customers, and other stakeholders.
To help you get safely back to business amid the pandemic, the iAuditor by SafetyCulture platform has curated industry guidance and actionable digital checklist templates from the UK Government. The guidance has been prepared in cooperation with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and input from firms, unions, industry bodies and the devolved administrations in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and in consultation with Public Health England (PHE) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The guidance should be considered alongside local public health and safety requirements and legislation in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Guidance & Checklist Templates for Business Reopening in the United Kingdom
Offices and Contact Centres
The UK Government provides official guidance to help employers, employees, and those self-employed in the UK who are working in offices, contact centres, and operation rooms, to understand how to work safely during the pandemic.
To help UK-based employers and workers in who operate in an office setting, use this UK.gov-based checklist template you can download for free and use with iAuditor by SafetyCulture:
Retail stores and branches across the United Kingdom can refer to government guidance for a safe and legally compliant reopening. The guidance applies to those currently open and will help those that are currently closed consider what their operations need to look like when they are allowed to open.
Retail stores include the likes of food retailers, fashion shops, car dealerships, retail art galleries, theatres, hardware stores, mobile phone stores and similar types of retails. Branches include post offices, bank branches, and other open money businesses
For more specific guidance on different retail shops and branches, you may consult guidance from UK retail trade associations.
To help UK retailers effectively resume operations amidst a global pandemic, here is a UK.gov-based checklist template you can download for free and use with iAuditor by SafetyCulture:
Restaurant owners or managers will need to implement extra checks and COVID-19 specific preventative measures, alongside ‘normal’ daily opening checks, to safely get back to business after a shutdown.
For food business managers who have takeaway and food delivery services, you may refer to this reopening guidance to help resume your food business and protect the health and safety of your employees and customers.
To help facilitate a safe and HSE-compliant restaurant reopening, use this checklist from UK.gov to adapt to the new normal for restaurants:
Manufacturing and Distribution
Safety managers in industrial working environments (e.g. manufacturing and chemical plants, food and other large processing plants, warehouses, distribution centres and port operations) and logistics companies can help their organisation adapt to the new normal with these government guidance for manufacturing plants/factories and those delivering to homes.
Manufacturing and logistics safety managers can use the following industry-guided checklists to help standardise the implementation of return to work protocols in your operations and sites. You can download them for free and customize easily with iAuditor by SafetyCulture:
Construction and Outdoor Work
The UK Government has also developed guidelines for employers and workers involved in construction and other outdoor work. The guidelines can help workers in construction, energy and utilities, farming and agriculture, railway services, forestry, waste management, and street services to plan for the safe resumption of work amid the pandemic.
To help UK-based employers and workers from these industries return to work safely, use the this checklist to help guide reopening. You can download it for free and use with iAuditor by SafetyCulture:
Labs and Research Facilities
Labs and indoor research environments usually require collaboration between people, often in close proximity. With this specific government guidance for labs and research facilities,operations in these environments can resume with COVID-19 preventative controls in place.
The government guidance is applicable to facilities, such as prototyping centres, wet labs, simulators, wind tunnels, engineering centres, and material development labs.
To help UK-based labs and research facilities safely reopen amid the pandemic, use the this industry-guided checklist, which you can download for free and use with iAuditor by SafetyCulture: