How UK workplaces could look after the lockdown

The UK government is preparing to unveil new guidance on how workplaces could safely reopen when it begins to ease the coronavirus lockdown.

Employers could be urged to keep lifts half-empty, stagger shifts and use physical screens where social distancing is not possible, according to reports.

Draft official documents seen by the BBC and the Financial Times set out how millions of workers could see their workplaces change in months to come.

Office workers may be urged to work from home where possible for several months more to prevent overcrowding on public transport.

Floor tape is likely to be used in many workplaces to encourage two-metre distancing between colleagues and between staff and customers.

READ MORE: UK factories slash jobs after ‘worst month in recent history’

Office canteens could remain closed, hot desking restricted and face-to-face meetings are likely to be discouraged. Employers with more than five staff may have to draw up coronavirus risk assessments, a measure promoted by the Trades Union Congress (TUC).

Employers may have to lay on more parking spaces and public transport services could be ramped up to reduce the number of commuters confined closely together in cars, trains or buses.

The department for business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS) is reported to have consulted with employer and union leaders on the plans.

Prime minister Boris Johnson is expected to set out details on how workplaces could reopen as part of a wider announcement on the UK’s exit from lockdown on Sunday.

READ MORE: Ryanair slashes up to 3,000 jobs and O’Leary takes pay cut

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