Covid-19 – Information for Employers
Over recent months we’ve all become acutely aware of what can happen when germs spread, and how quickly they can spread; it’s also probably fair to say that we’ve all had our lives disrupted and been caused inconvenience or worse.
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 stipulates quite explicitly that employers have a duty of care towards employees and members of the public. It also states that employees have a duty of care towards themselves and to each other. Additionally under common law, employers have a duty to take care of employees while they are at work. Both these obligations dictate that in practice employers must take reasonable care of employee safety, avoid exposing them to unnecessary risks and ensure a safe system of working.
Helping Employees to Look After Themselves
Statistics show that older people and those with existing health conditions are more likely to suffer serious consequences (including death) when they contract Covid-19, but that shouldn’t fool people into thinking anybody outside these groups will suffer little effects – many people will. The reason the elderly and those with existing health conditions are affected more is because their immune systems are generally less strong than those of other people. So what can we do to strengthen our immune systems?
- Eat More Superfoods
- Get Enough Sleep
- Increase Moderate Exercise
- Cut Back on Alcohol
- Reduce Stress
- Try to Reduce Weight
Further details can be found in our LiveWell leaflet which is available free by clicking here and requesting it through the contact form.
Helping Employees to Look After Others
While we are all now familiar with the principles of hygiene it is a fact that following these principles will help prevent passing the virus to others and will help to slow the spread.
- Wash hands regularly and thoroughly for at least twenty seconds
- Consider face masks when in enclosed spaces with others for a short time
- Try not to touch your face and mouth
- Consider cling film over keyboards while you are using it
- Sneeze and cough into your elbow
- Wipe working areas with disinfectant after use
Helping Employers to Look After Employees
There are a number of things employers can do to assist with the measures outlined above and as well as generally take a proactive stance against the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Have good stocks of cling film, face masks, and disinfectant wipes around the work place
- Make sure employees are aware of their obligations
- Ensure ample stocks of hand soap are available
- Amend working policies as required
- Ensure disposable tissues are available
- Put in place screen savers, posters, email reminders and other media relating to Covid-19
- Listen to the concerns of employees
- Allow flexible working practices, including working from home
One of the problems for employers is that advice is changing very frequently, and if the pandemic progresses towards a second or even third wave employers can expect the changes to be more volatile.
Under normal circumstances SPA Medical offer employers what could be described as the gold standard in employee wellness programs. Things have changed for everyone but our mission is still the same – with our registered and qualified healthcare professionals we have designed a low cost program that will help employers take care of their employees, their most important assets, as well as fulfilling their duty of care. We can provide the following as a single package with no contract, no minimum term, and no deposit:
- Full and unlimited access to our mental health portal
- Training for delegated employees to become ‘Covid First Aiders’
- Regular educational media (posters, emails, healthy living advice etc)
- Help with policy amendments
- Coronavirus antibody tests
- Covid-19 HR advice
A more detailed look at our specially designed Covid-19 wellness program
Mental Health Portal
You don’t need us to tell you how the pandemic can affect mental health. Our mental health assessment portal has been developed exclusively for SPA Medical Services by our qualified and registered healthcare professionals. Employees have unlimited access to this service and will gain a good indication if they are suffering with stress, anxiety, or depression. Whether or not mental health issues are indicated, employees are invited to contact our in-house mental health nurse for advice or further help
Training for Covid First Aiders
Imagine you had a delegated employee (rather like a health and safety representative) that was trained in all aspects of Covid-19 who could:
- Provide individual prevention advice
- Remind employees of their obligations
- Use medical equipment to look for symptoms
- Interpret Covid questionnaires
- Understand and report workplace risks
- Be furnished by us with all the latest information
A registered healthcare professional will come to you and deliver a training course to an employee or employees of your choosing that could take on this role, this employee would then be permanently supported by us. It’s all about reducing risk, and to have an employee trained by us would do just that.
Educational Media for Employees
At the beginning of each month we will provide regular posters (PDF and paper) for your workplace with bespoke updates on the pandemic and any new advice or obligations. At the middle of each month we will provide more detailed information for you to circulate by email to each employee. All our educational material is created in-house by our qualified and registered healthcare professionals.
Help With Policy Amendments
Should your employees wear masks? Should self-isolation be regarded as sickness? Should you have a hygiene policy? Things are a little unfair for employers in terms of amendments they should be making to various policies and procedures to take account of the covid pandemic. In effect people with no clinical background are being asked to incorporate clinical factors into business policies. We can be your clinical partner and help advise on various policies from workplace practices to HR considerations.
Coronavirus Antibody Tests
We can provide, perform, and administer tests on employees that are designed to locate the presence of coronavirus antibodies. The tests can be performed as a stand-alone service or as part of the Covid wellness package.
- All tests performed at your workplace
- All tests performed by qualified and registered healthcare professionals
- Like-for-like price promise for 100 employees and above
- No minimum numbers of employees
- Test results within 15 minutes
- Ongoing organisational clinical support and advice
- Packages can incorporate our full Covid-19 wellness program
Covid-19 HR Advice
We know that this is a difficult time for human resources professionals, many of whom are having to make unprecedented decisions in an ever changing employment environment. We can help we have partnered with a specially chosen HR consultancy, so whether you need ad hoc advice, a simple second opinion, or a complete HR overhaul we can help.