Is your business fit for work?
COVID-19 has impacted businesses across the world—some more than others-with restaurants and other eating establishments shut down by government recommendations to help prevent the spread of infection.
As you consider reopening in compliance with Government regulations and guidelines, it’s vital to review the resources you have available before opening.
Local health authorities have provided the latest information about COVID-19, and how to take extra precautionary steps in the workplace to protect the safety and wellbeing of staff and guests.
The links below provide vast government information:
But every workplace is unique, so it’s important every operation assesses the functions carried out by their workforce to protect against hazards presented by COVID-19. In your workplace, you must attempt to always
- Practise physical distancing (staying 2 meters away from others)
- Minimise contact
- Regularly wash hand and sanitise if needed
- Keep surfaces and objects clean
- Use PPE
- Prevent contact with potentially infected people
These are all critically important measures, but please keep in mind that introducing any new protective measures should be done as part of a full review of other workplace hazards, not just COVID 19.
Health and Safety Representatives
Best practice from the industry would suggest each business appoint someone (normally the Health and Safety Representative)to advise on measures to protect staff in the workplace for COVID19, in addition to usual Health and Safety best practices. Training may be needed for this role, but consider it an important resource to dedicate time and effort to.
This representative should take responsibility for checking Government advice to ensure all staff are continuously up to date with all precautions and their own responsibilities. Some workplaces may already have existing controls in place to help reduce the risk of exposure for staff, so regular ‘check-ins’ and retraining on how controls are helping is highly recommended.
A daily health-check might consist of a number of different symptom assessments and questions, such as:
- Getting a temperature reading of the employee (below 37.8 degrees )
- Checking for a new cough
- Checking for shortness of breath
- Checking for sore throat
- Checking for general body weakness
- Enquiring about living arrangements – do housemates have symptos
- Checking appropriate PPE is in place before the shift.
Recording these checks is important as it will
- Ensure compliance at operational, store and individual level
- Allow tracing and tracking in the event of an outbreak
- Review progress over time
You can track and upload information into Bizimply at the end of the day to have an easily accessible, cloud-based secure copy of these records
What if you do have a case?
In the unlikely event of a suspected case of COVID-19 in the business, current government advice does not immediately recommend shutting the business, however the affected employee should go home and stay home for 7 days. If symptoms persist or deteriorate, they should contact a health professional and consult the NHS111 website / Hse.ie to decide on the next action.
If an employee is positive diagnosed with COVID-19 the restaurant should NOT tell other members of staff the name of the person who has been diagnosed. However, they need to be told a member of staff has tested positive ,and employees are encouraged to monitor their own symptoms. They should also continue with the business health-check and consult the NHS111 website if they’re worried they might have contracted COVID-19.
How employers can navigate COVID-19 with Bizimply
- Put up posters encouraging proper hygiene
- Washing hands, avoiding touching eyes, mouth, face, properly sanitizing
- Provide proper supplies on the premises to maintain cleanliness and hygiene
- Sanitizing hand gel dispensers in prominent areas around the site
- Ensure that adequate PPE face masks etc are available on the premises as appropriate to the work being carried out.
- Log daily health information
- Upload a document daily in the shift log or customize the shift log itself as in the video above
- Where can I see past information entered into Bizimply? Shift log reports
- If staff exhibit any symptoms, send them home (fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties) and maintain a record in Time off Records
- Accept all sick requests Employers Ireland / Employers Uk
- Employees do not require a doctor’s note, but after 7 days an employee is obliged to provide an “isolation note” available from NHS111 or online
- You can log type of sickness through Bizimply, and store notes on employee profiles
- Have back-up plans ready—consider having some staff “on-call” should a situation arises where you may be short-staffed
- Enforce self-isolation periods for any staff returning from travel
- Symptoms should be monitored for 14 days after returning home
- Focus on other channels like third-party delivery if possible
- Offer discounts on delivery/takeout
- Suggest vouchers if you need cash now
Leverage social media to provide updates to guests see some ideas here
- Post about any new procedures your establishments are taking
- Show cleanliness, like kitchen and servers wearing gloves, sanitizing the locations, etc
- Encourage guests to order take-out or delivery
How Employees can navigate COVID-19
Practice proper hygiene
- Properly wash your hands frequently throughout the day for at least 20 seconds
- Avoid touching your face, eyes, and mouth
Practice proper restaurant sanitization
- Provide guests with hand sanitizer and tissues upon request
- If coworkers have any symptoms, let your manager know (fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties)
Communicate with your manager about any changes to your situation eg whether you’ve recently traveled or are feeling unwell
Self-quarantine after travel
- Symptoms should be monitored for 14 days after returning home
- Communicate with staff and managers
Monitor your email for management for updates on the situation
Take time off if you feel ill
- Employees no longer require a doctor’s note for the first 7 days – Isolation note.
If you have COVID-19 or are advised to stay at home, you can get an ‘isolation note’ by visiting NHS 111 online,HSE.ie rather than visiting a doctor. For COVID-19 cases this replaces the usual need to provide a ‘fit note’ (sometimes called a ‘sick note’) after 7 days of sickness absence
We know that keeping staff and guests safe and healthy during the current situation with COVID-19 is a priority, and we hope this article will help the return to work as the crisis eases and restrictions are lifted. It’s important that employees feel safe and are not deprived of their basic right to safe working conditions. Remember to work with your staff to keep your team connected and prepared.
We at Bizimply also strive to keep up to date on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’s latest developments. Don’t hesitate to contact us by phone, email or social media if you have any questions:
(UK) +44 203 642 5644
(IRE) +353 (1) 254 2524
Help Centre: Click Here
Twitter DM: @Bizimply