Government publishes new guidance for employers on reducing respiratory diseases in the workplace

Advice replaces previous guidance on Covid-19

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Employers will welcome new, shorter, general government guidance, Reducing the spread of respiratory infections, including COVID-19, in the workplacewhich replaces the previous Covid-19-specific guidance,Working safely during Coronavirus, following the lifting of coronavirus restrictions.

The new guidance notes that, while employers no longer need to consider Covid-19 specifically when carrying out health and safety risk assessments, they still need to consider it as a general respiratory risk in order to discharge their general duty to protect their workforce’s health, safety and wellbeing.

For example, they should still consider whether some staff, such as disabled employees, are particularly at risk from Covid-19 and whether adjustments are needed to their work equipment or working patterns to reduce that risk.

They should also consider whether staff showing symptoms of Covid-19 should still be asked to stay at home.

The guidance also encourages employers to promote vaccination among staff by, for example, establishing vaccination ‘champions’ and allowing time off work to get vaccinated.

Employers should download the new guidance from the GOV.UK website and check they are complying, to meet their health and safety duties.

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