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27
Apr 22

Posted by
Saoirse Moloney

Mental Well-being in the workplace

As employees return to the workplace after many months of working remotely, it is essential that employers consider the mental well-being of their workforce.

A small amount of stress might make an individual work harder or pay closer attention to detail employers needs to be mindful of the impact that stress can have on an employee’s well-being. A period of poor mental health can make it more difficult for an employee to think, feel and respond to situations which can affect their performance in their day-to-day role. As an employer, it is important to have policies and procedures in place so that you can respond appropriately and provide support as needed.

Employers can take positive steps to support individuals experiencing poor mental health, through actions such as implementing and maintaining a strong and clear mental health policy. By supporting employees experiencing mental health challenges, employers can see real benefits within their organisation.

These include the following:

  • Retaining valuable staff
  • Reducing sickness absence
  • Assisting staff members in reaching their full potential, leading to increased productivity
  • Enhancing health and safety within the workplace
  • Encouraging a healthier and more tolerant workforce

The first step to aid positive mental health in the workplace is to encourage an understanding of the importance of mental wellbeing. Employees who feel understood by their managers and colleagues are more likely to stay at work or return after a period of absence, which can help reduce long-term absences caused by mental health.

Ways employers can aid positive mental health in the workplace:

  • Offering flexible working
  • Invest in mental health training

Employers should be mindful that there are many other reasons why an employee may be struggling within their daily roles. Reasons such as a personal situation, physical illness, impact by the cost-of-living crisis, or the situation in Ukraine can contribute to why an employee may be struggling.

To help those who are struggling employers may consider an open workplace culture to encourage open conversations about mental health. This should make employees feel comfortable speaking openly and without fear or judgement about their mental well-being to their manager or colleagues. Organisations may also consider using an Employee Assistance Programme that can offer ongoing, anonymous assistance to all workers.

In conclusion, any person can suffer from mental illness and identifying if there is an underlying problem can be challenging. It is possible at any time for an employer to have an employee who is suffering from poor mental health. It is important for the employer to know how to support employees who need extra support.

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What You Need to Know About Employee Burnout

 

 

Posted in Health & Safety

15
Apr 22

Posted by
Saoirse Moloney

What You Need to Know About Employee Burnout

The switch to remote working in response to the coronavirus has seen a rise in employees reporting that they are working longer hours from home. Whether employees are on-site or working remotely, it is important for HR professionals and management to remain vigilant for signs of burnout among staff.

The term “burnout” is commonly used to describe a situation in which an employee experiences a period of mental or physical fatigue because of high-intensity pressure at work.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that burnout can have a negative impact on someone’s long term health. They also describe burnout as a syndrome resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been managed successfully.

Impact on employees

Burnout can have a negative impact on employees’ output, reducing their productivity and quality of their work. Individuals often display a drop in morale or low mood, prolonged periods of burnout may even result in the development of mental health issues such as depression or anxiety.

Impact on employers

For employers, burnout can come at a huge financial cost, the drop in productivity and work quality may disrupt the ability to meet customer demand. A lack of employee engagement can also occur as a result which can often influence a company’s culture. Retention rates are likely to worsen if staff begin looking for preferable employment situations elsewhere.

Causes of burnout

There are a variety of factors that may cause an individual to suffer from burnout and it is important to understand that each situation will be different. Burnout will often be attributed to factors at work however there may be outside influences from an employee’s personal life that contributes to burnout.

Common causes of burnout in the workplace include:

  • excessive workloads
  • unequal distribution of work
  • prolonged working hours
  • inability to take rest breaks
  • unrealistic managerial expectations
  • toxic company culture
  • bully and harassment
  • health and safety concerns

 Spotting the signs

It’s important that you are prepared to spot the signs of burnout amongst staff when they present themselves. This can only be achieved by keeping a close eye on employees’ behaviour and performance. It may be difficult to spot but you should be looking out for employees who are arriving early to work or staying late after their contractual hours.

Failure to meet deadlines or an uncharacteristic drop in performance is also usually clear signs that an employee may be struggling with the pressures of work, as well as a sudden change in mood or excessive displays of emotion towards colleagues and third parties.

Responding to staff suffering from burnout

If an employee is showing signs of burnout, it is up to you to address the situation. Due to the nature of burnout solutions may vary for everyone.

  • There are several methods that are likely to prove effective:
  • removing any unnecessary causes of stress or agitation
  • assessing and redistributing workloads where necessary
  • providing extra training on areas of weakness
  • encouraging staff to make use of annual leave and rest breaks
  • investigating and resolving any allegations of bullying or harassment
  • providing access to medical support e.g., EAP

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Posted in Health & Safety

28
Mar 22

Posted by
Saoirse Moloney

What You Need to Know About Staff Handbooks

The most essential document governing the employment relationship is the contract of employment. If you don’t want your employment contract to be too long and untidy you should be referring to your staff handbook when talking about grievances, discipline, dignity at work, anti-bullying, and other workplace policies.

Staff handbooks should be easy to read, and a copy should be easily available to all employees. New employees must read the handbook and indicate that they have done so by giving their signature. It is important to review and amend the policies regularly to ensure any changes in the law or best practices are reflected.

Most important policies and procedures in the workplace

In Ireland, the most important policies, and procedures to have in place are those covering

  1. Grievances
  2. Discipline
  3. Dignity at work (anti-harassment, anti-bullying, and equal opportunity)
  4. Health and Safety

Other topics that should be considered are, sick leave, holiday leave & pay, hours of work, internet and email usage, dress code, expenses procedure retirement and pension benefits etc.

Bright Contracts

With Bright Contracts, we provide ready-made handbooks that fully conforms to the latest employment law guidelines. The software allows you to add additional sections to handbooks, edit, delete or reorganise the built-in- content and you can easily add your own. You can preview your handbook at any time while you build it and print or export it when it is ready. It’s great as you need no employment law knowledge, we do all the hard work.

 

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Introducing Contracts & Handbooks to Existing Staff

 

 

Posted in Company Handbook, Employee Handbook, Employment Law, Health & Safety, Staff Handbook

31
Jan 22

Posted by
Saoirse Moloney

Update: Steps to Reduce the Spread of Covid-19 in the Workplace

On the 21st of January the Government announced the easing of restrictive measures. The Transitional Protocol: Good Practice Guidance for Continuing to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 reflects the lessons that we have learned over the past two years. This guidance is a general document applicable to all sectors. All businesses and sectors who have specific guidance should review and update their own guidance in line with the advice contained in the document.

While the public health advice has changed, employers need to remember that several steps still need to be implemented by employers and employees to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

1. Keep a COVID-19 Response Plan in Place

Employers and their representatives should continue to maintain or take the following steps:
• Update their COVID-19 Response Plan according to the most recent public health advice.
• facilitate the ongoing appointment and engagement of the Lead Worker Representative
• Review and update their occupational health and safety (OSH) risk assessments and safety statement as workers return to the physical workplaces and as changes to the workplaces take place.
• Maintain measures to deal with a suspected case of COVID-19 in the workplace
• Maintain any specific measures or response for dealing with an outbreak of Covid-19

2. Maintain policies and procedures for prompt identification and isolation of workers who may have symptoms of COVID-19

How you manage and isolate potential infectious individuals remains a crucial step in protecting the worker involved, their colleagues and others at the workplace. While the need to maintain a contact log with details of workers and visitors to a workplace has been removed, employers may need to provide attendance information as appropriate in the event the local Department of Public Health has to investigate an outbreak.

Employers should continue to:

• Advise that workers do not come to work if they are displaying signs or symptoms of COVID-19 or if they have had a positive test,
• Provide instructions for workers to follow if they develop signs and symptoms of COVID-19 during work,
• Display information on signs and symptoms of COVID-19

Workers should also continue to:

• Keep themselves up to date with the signs and symptoms of COVID-19,
• Do not attend work if they are displaying signs and symptoms of COVID-19 or have symptoms
• Follow public health advise regarding self-isolation, restricting movement, testing and what to do if identified as a close contact
• Report to managers immediately if any symptoms develop during work
• Comply with any public health personnel and their employer for contract tracing purposes and follow any public health advise given in the event of a case or outbreak in their workplace.

3. Maintaining COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Measures

Hand Hygiene

Employers should continue to:
• ensure that appropriate hygiene facilities and materials are in place to accommodate
workers adhering to hand hygiene measures,
• make available advice on how to perform hand hygiene effectively,
• display posters on how to wash hands in appropriate locations throughout the
workplace,
• provide hand sanitisers (alcohol or non-alcohol based) where washing facilities cannot
be accessed. In choosing an alcohol-based sanitiser, a minimum of 60% alcohol is
required.
• provide facilities for frequent hand hygiene for outdoor work, which should be located
close to where workers are working. Outdoor toilet facilities, if reasonably practicable,
should also be considered.

Workers should continue to:
• Follow hand hygiene guidance and advise
• Wash their hands with soap and water or with hand sanitiser for at least 20 seconds.

Respiratory Hygiene

Employers should continue to:

• provide tissues as well as bins/bags for their disposal,
• empty bins at regular intervals, and
• provide advice on good respiratory practice including the safe use, storage and
disposal of face masks/coverings and the safe cleaning of face coverings.

Workers should continue to:

• adopt good respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette, and
• follow good practice on the safe use, storage, disposal, and cleaning of face
masks/coverings. 

Physical Distancing

Employers may choose to maintain some of the practices that were in place based on the Work Safely Protocol for the period of transition back to office work. Especially in meetings, events, or training with a continued focus on hand and respiratory etiquette and adequate ventilation are all measures that may continue. 
There is a legal requirement to wear a facemask in specific settings (e.g., healthcare, public transport, taxis, public offices, retail premises etc.) Outside of these settings it is still good practice to continue to use face masks particularly in crowded areas. Employers should continue to support and facilitate the use of face masks b workers who wish to continue wearing them.

Bright Contracts will be updating it's COVID-19 response plan as soon a possible with the updated transitional protocol providing further guidance in relation to office working. Once updated this will be communicated across social media so keep your eyes peeled.

 

Read more at www.gov.ie >

Posted in Coronavirus, Health & Safety, Staff Handbook

25
Jan 22

Posted by
Jennifer Patton

The Nation Rejoices: The Removal of COVID-19 Restrictions & The Return to the Workplace

Ireland rejoiced as it was announced over the weekend that most of the public health measures currently in place can be removed giving the Irish a sense of normalcy again, something we have all been waiting a long time for. However, this news will have also been met with many questions by the business community, particularly around how to effectively manage a safe, gradual return to the workplace.

The government confirmed that the transition to office working could commence with immediate effect from yesterday, Monday the 24th of January which is amazing news for all but it is strongly encouraged that employers engage with employees to plan, prepare and engage with their staff to put into motion that return in the coming weeks.

The return of employees to the office is very much a measured response, taking into account business needs as well as the needs of the employee. The experiment of working from home has been a success over the past two years therefore the we see it that there must be very justified reasons for a business to require staff to work in the office five days of the week. 

The return to office working must be considered in line with obligations under existing Safety, Health and Welfare legislation to provide a safe place of work. Organisations COVID-19 response plans will naturally need be edited to take into account these new measures and it is hoped that the revised guidance document will be finalised and published in the coming days. Once published our Bright Contracts software will be updated to reflect these changes.

While the lifting of restrictions is great news for all it is still important to bear in mind that the government still continue to reiterate the need for ongoing close monitoring of the virus. The pandemic is not over and the emergence of new variants with increased levels of transmissibility remains a risk both nationally and globally so businesses are encouraged to still keep this at the forefront of their office plans.

While the restrictions have been lifted, it is advised that employers develop plans for their return to work and continue the use of Covid-19 control measures:

  • Employers should re-examine the potential risks and hazards and update business and safety plans. (e.g. Covid-19 Response Plan, the occupational health and safety through risk assessments and the safety statement). 
  • The Health and Safety Authority’s website contains resources for employers including the Pre-return to work form, and Employer checklists.
  • Implement control measures and comply with the HSE’s and Government’s protocol/guidance. This includes appointing at least one lead worker representative to ensure safety measures are in place and being adhered to. Access a Health Safety Authority online course on the role of lead worker representative.
  • Develop, consult on, communicate and implement workplace changes or policies. 
  • Continue to follow the current advice for those with symptoms, cases and close contacts as announced by the government on the 12th of January 2022.
  • Continue to focus on maximising the uptake of the primary and booster vaccination.

Further changes coming down the line for businesses is this year, Leo Varadkar will bring in five new workers’ rights, which will include the right to request remote working. The others will be the right to statutory sick pay, new rights around redundancy for people who are laid off during the pandemic, a new right on the protection of workers’ tips and the new public holiday on St Brigid’s Day which was announced last week. These will be in addition to the previously introduced Right to Disconnect.

Today, Leo Varadkar provided some guidance into the specifics of The Right to Request Remote Working which we have summarised below for you:

  • The employee must have at least 6 months service in order to submit a request.
  • The employer will have 12 weeks to reply to the employees request.
  • The employer can counter offer the employees request which the employee will have one month to accept or refuse.
  • Right of appeal will apply to this strategy which will either be dealt with internally or through The WRC.
  • Employees can submit another request after 12 weeks.
  • A requirement of this strategy will be that all employers MUST have a Work From Home (WFH) Policy in place

Bright Contracts already has a WFH policy in the handbook of the software which can be found under the 'Terms & Conditions' tab. Further guidance in relation to The Right To Request Home Working is expected over the coming months which we will then communicate to our customers.

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The 411 on The Right to Request Remote Working

Helpful Articles/ Documents:

- Role of a Lead Worker Representative

Posted in Coronavirus, Employment Law, Health & Safety, Hybrid Working

14
Oct 21

Posted by
Jennifer Patton

The Budget 2022: What You Need to Know

The 2022 budget was released this week which aims to explain how money will be raised and spent in 2022. The budget saw some important changes across a variety of sectors with some important ones for employers to know which is why we have summarised them for you below so you don't miss out!

  • The National Minimum Wage

The NMW will rise by 30 cent to €10.50 per hour

  • Family

Maternity benefit and parental leave payments to be increased
Parent's Benefit extended by 2 weeks to 7 weeks from July next year

  • Covid Supports

The employment Wage Subsidy Scheme will remain in place, in a graduated format, until 30 April, 2022 - the scheme will close to new employers from 1 January, 2022

  • Working from Home & Income Tax

People who work remotely will see an income tax deduction of 30% of the cost of vouched expenses for heat, electricity and broadband. In his Budget speech, the Minister for Finance said Government policy is to facilitate and support remote work. 

If you would like to read some more detailed information and analysis, or even read the Ministers’ Budget day speeches to the Dáil, visit http://gov.ie/budget to find out more.

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27
Sep 21

Posted by
Jennifer Patton

Key Features: Updates to the Work Safely Protocol

Following on from our post The Phased Return to the Workplace , further guidance has been given into the recent government changes effect on the Work Safely Protocol. The Protocol sets out the minimum public health measures required in every place of work to prevent and reduce the spread of COVID-19.

While employers are still expected to comply with their normal health and safety obligations, employers should note that from 22 October 2021 the requirement to work from home will be removed and the statutory regime in place to protect public health will be wound down. Further guidance is expected in advance of that date. So what are some of these key changes:

From 20 September 2021:

  • Businesses can begin a phased and staggered return to workplaces for specific business requirements
  • Two metre social distancing, the wearing of masks in certain circumstances, hygiene measures and appropriate ventilation remain in place
  • Appropriate attendance levels should be maintained in accordance with the Protocol
  • Staggered arrangements should be considered, such as non-fulltime attendance and flexible working hours
  • Each workplace must have a Lead Worker Representative that works with the employer to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace, and
  • The requirement for self-isolation / restricted movements will continue for those with symptoms, who should immediately seek a test, those with positive test results, and close contacts of confirmed cases, unless fully vaccinated with no symptoms

From 22 October 2021:

  • Depending on continued satisfactory vaccination rates, the Government intends to remove further statutory restrictions from this date. In particular, the requirement to work from home will be removed, allowing a return to physical attendance in workplaces on a phased and cautious basis, appropriate to each sector.
  • Remote working will become a regular feature of Irish working life as the Government continues to implement Making Remote Work, Ireland’s National Remote Work Strategy, and
  • Legal requirements in relation to social distancing and mask wearing will no longer apply in the majority of circumstances. An emphasis on personal responsibility will be encouraged. This means that employees cannot insist on compliance with social distancing, mask wearing or the provision of sanitising equipment or products in the workplace

With employee's returning one of the most important actions for employers to take is to review their risk assessments and health & safety policies. In order to pinpoint how and where could the virus be transmitted in your workplace you must look at the hazards, evaluate the risks and put control measures in place and The Health and Safety Authority has produced checklists to assist in the reopening of workplaces.

In conclusion, the return to the workplace should be conducted in a cautious manner and in consultation with employees. The government is moving towards a focus on personal responsibility from the 22nd of October 2021 and the Government will consult with employers in advance of this date to prepare guidance for the next phase of easing public health restrictions.

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Posted in Coronavirus, Customer Update, Employment Update, Health & Safety, Hybrid Working

8
Jul 21

Posted by
Jennifer Patton

My Employees & The Vaccine: Can I ask for this data?

As vaccinations continue to roll out and employees begin returning to the workplace, employers are now wondering if they can lawfully collect and process information about the Covid-19 vaccination status of their employees. As mentioned in our previous Blog Post Let's Get Topical - The Vaccine Policy, information relating to an individual’s vaccination status is categorised under GDPR as special category personal data and therefore represents part of their personal health record which is why it is afforded additional protections under data protection law.

The Data Protection Commission (DPC) has published guidelines addressing the issue of what information employers can process, within these guidelines the DPC have made it clear that they do not consider there is any general legal basis for employers to request the vaccination status of their employees at this time, their reason being “in the absence of clear advice from public health authorities in Ireland that it is necessary for all employers and managers of workplaces to establish vaccination status of employees and workers, the processing of vaccine data is likely to represent unnecessary and excessive data collection for which no clear legal basis exists”.

With that being said, the DPC acknowledges that there may be certain extenuating circumstances, for example those working in frontline healthcare services, where vaccination can be considered a necessary safety measure, therefore in these situations the DPC states that an employer will likely be in a position to lawfully process vaccine data on the basis of necessity.

The current version of the Work Safely Protocol: Covid-19 National Protocol for Employers and Workers highlights that the decision to get a vaccine is entirely voluntary, and that individuals will make their own decisions as to whether they wish to receive it or not. Based on this, in the DPC’s view, this further indicates that covid-19 vaccination data should not be considered a necessary workplace safety measure, and as a result, the processing of vaccine data is unlikely to be necessary or proportionate in an employment context.
These guidelines will be subject to review if the public health advice and laws relating to the nature of the virus, the pandemic and the interplay with vaccination change which is why employers should ensure they closely monitor evolving public health guidance and laws.

To keep up to date on these changes we have recommended the following resources:

- GOV.ie 

- HSE.ie

- World Health Organization 

Bright Contracts has recently been updated to include a Data Protection Policy and Vaccine Policy which covers these consideration points for our customers to include in their employee handbooks, which can be found under the terms and conditions tab.

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23
Jun 21

Posted by
Jennifer Patton

Let's Get Topical - The Vaccine Policy

The Vaccine. . . a major topical area and again one that information about is changing by the day. Instead of overloading you with paragraph upon paragraph of text, we thought we’d approach this section as a Q&A which covers all questions you may have about the vaccine policy. 

The first question is - Can you insist that an employee be tested? 

In the absence of a legal requirement for employees to take a test, no individual can lawfully be forced to take one, as such an action could be considered assault given the physical element of taking a test.

Employees who have no symptoms should only be asked to take a test on a voluntary basis. Employees who have no symptoms and are not a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case may query the legal basis of being required to take a covid test before entering the workplace. In this scenario, the purpose of the test should be explained to the employee and if the employee continues to refuse the test, employers need to tread very carefully to avoid employee relations issues. 

Moving onto question 2 - Can you ask an employee if they have been vaccinated? 

While employees are not obliged to provide personal medical information, employers may seek vaccination information on the foundation that they are meeting their legal obligations under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Acts. It will be up to the employee if they wish to volunteer this information to their employer. If they choose to volunteer this information, then employers should not disclose this information to other employees. As medical data is considered as a Special Category of Personal data, additional data protection regulation apply and must considered. 

Lastly, question 3 - Can you insist that an employee be vaccinated? 

Currently vaccinations are recommended by Irish authorities, but not compulsory for any Irish citizen. Even with the role out of the Covid vaccination amongst medical workers who are employees of the HSE, for these employees the vaccine was not mandatory. With this in mind, it is likely to be very difficult for an employer to argue and defend a case that vaccination is compulsory in a workplace. There is little an employer can do if their employee refuses to get the vaccine however, understanding their concerns is important and finding solutions that meet the business needs without infringing on their rights is crucial in managing their integration into the workplace. Employers need to think carefully about any action they take and consider the potential legal consequences associated with these actions.

If you are an employer, now you are most likely thinking, 'What can I do about the vaccine and my workplace?'. The answer is simple, employees cannot be forced to avail of the vaccine however it is vitally important that employers promote that their employees take a vaccine. The best way to take a proactive stance here is to roll out a vaccine policy. We would advise doing this now to help prepare employees. In creating a vaccine policy you’ll want to consider : 

1. Providing your workforce with a list of resources where they can obtain further information about the vaccination programme, for example, gov.ie, HSE.ie. 

2. Your policy must recognise that the decision to avail of the vaccine is the individual's choice however the employer encourages their workforce to make an informed decision through: 

Reading information about COVID-19 vaccinations via official sources; 

Listening to the information the HSE provides when offering a vaccine; and 

Being cautious of misinformation around COVID-19 vaccinations by unreliable sources. 

3. Detail whether your employee's will be paid or un-paid for the leave to attend their appointment.

4. If an employee feels unwell after their vaccination they will be instructed to follow The Company's sick leave policy. 

Lastly, we would recommend :

5. That employers include a section in the vaccine policy about employee's respecting others privacy and not having open discussions about the vaccine with colleagues.

Bright Contracts has recently been updated to include a vaccine policy which covers these consideration points for our customers to include in their employee handbooks, which can be found under the terms and conditions tab. 

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16
Jun 21

Posted by
Jennifer Patton

Hello Update! - Additions to the Return to Work Safely Protocol

As vaccines roll out and employees begin to return to the office, updates to policies and procedures are changing as a result, so we are back again with a update to The Return to Work Safely Protocol which came into effect in May 2021 to include new learnings on Covid in the workplace. It incorporates the current advice on the Public Health measures needed to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the community and workplaces. The updated Work Safely Protocol provides further guidance for employers in relation to ventilation as part of the range of measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as well as information on how to approach the use of antigen testing in the workplace. 

The updated Protocol is very detailed in relation to the introduction of antigen diagnostic tests and rapid antigen diagnostic tests. 

Firstly let's discuss what is antigen testing?

The COVID-19 antigen test uses a swab to take a sample from your nose. The sample does not need to go to a lab. The test results are quicker than the COVID-19 PCR test, but it has some limitations.

With the update to the protocol employers must:

  • Consult with workers and representatives, as well as the lead worker representative(s) and the safety representatives, before any testing regime is introduced in the workplace and a process for workers who do not wish to take part in such testing should be agreed. 
  • The updated Protocol also sets out that a written occupational health and safety risk assessment to take account of this new work activity and specific risks associated with the use of rapid antigen diagnostic testing in the workplace should be completed.

The spread of the virus is most likely when infected people are in close contact so the risk of getting COVID-19 is higher in crowded and poorly ventilated spaces where infected people spend long periods of time together in close proximity therefore it is important to maximise ventilation in areas where people are in close contact. 

Ventilation, refers to the movement of outdoor air into a building, and the circulation of that air within the building or room while removing stale air to improve the air quality. This can be achieved through natural means (e.g. opening a window) or by mechanical means e.g. HVAC systems. 

Reoccupying workplaces should not, in most cases, require new ventilation systems but improvements to ventilation will help increase the quantity of clean air and reduce the risk of exposure to airborne concentrations of the virus. While ventilation reduces the amount of virus in the air and the aerosol risk, it will have minimal impact on contact transmission (touching surfaces) or droplet transmission where people are within 2 metres of each other. Droplets containing the virus will settle onto the surrounding surfaces within seconds, smaller particles can stay suspended for longer which is why ventilation is not a standalone measure and continued adherence to other public health advice is absolutely essential.

Employers can also seek to reduce the risk of transmission by limiting the numbers of workers in a given area and paying particular attention to work activities that increase deeper breathing. Determining ventilation of enclosed workplace settings should be considered as part of the workplace risk assessment which should consider the following:

- How you currently provide ventilation (fresh air) in your workplace?

- How many workers occupy or use the area(s)?

- How much time do workers spend in the area(s)?

- Are there any features in the workplace which might affect ventilation?

- Does the workplace have multiple or complex ventilation systems in place?

It is advised to speak to the building engineer or system manufacturer before implementing any changes relating to mechanical ventilation.

Further information on ventilation is available at: 

- HPSC – Guidance on non-healthcare settings

- World Health Organisation?

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