Employers must take action to protect staff against Omicron variant

With the threat that the new Omicron COVID-19 variant is posing to the workplace, Mike Robinson, Chief Executive of British Safety Council, advises how employers can best manage the risks particularly in the run-up to Christmas.

Mike said, “most employers have taken sensible precautions during the pandemic to help protect their staff against catching or passing on COVID-19. The swift way they responded to new Government guidance ensured that the workplace did not become the source of transmission that people feared it might. It is vital that we all maintain our efforts, and don’t let down our guard, especially when we are waiting to find out exactly what risks Omicron may pose to our health and the way COVID-19 could spread further. 

“None of us wants to go backwards and see our NHS, schools and other vital services threatened through disruption or overwhelmed. The impact of this on people’s mental health and wellbeing has also been significant. Omicron has the potential to replace Delta as the dominant variant, and that would mean many more people likely becoming infected, which is why we support the Government’s call for people to take up the chance of a booster vaccine when offered.

“Our view at British Safety Council is that employers will know their organisation best and be able to judge what they can and should do. We would advise them to review and where possible avoid any non-essential face-to-face contact. This may mean some or all staff working remotely, holding meetings online where it is feasible to do so and, yes, looking at postponing Christmas parties until we are clearer on the risks, especially if they are bringing large numbers together and where non-essential travel is involved.

“I know it’s a tough call to ask people to hold off from celebrating physically together in the run-up to Christmas, especially when staff have worked so hard this year. There are other ways of people coming together using online technology and I’d urge employers to look at alternatives, at least until the picture is clearer on Omicron and the risks that it poses.”

British Safety Council has taken its own precautionary action considering the new Omicron variant. All the following actions are temporary and will be reviewed as more information comes to light:

  • Cancelling or postponing any planned overseas business travel from the UK
  • Delivering any UK face-to-face training or auditing remotely
  • Suspending any staff or client face-to-face meetings in the UK until further notice 
  • Working remotely and temporarily closing UK office to all but essential activities
  • Cancelling a planned staff Christmas party
More News
10 hours ago
Five tips for a January financial health check
Taking timely action to review your spending and think about how you manage your money can help you start the year with your finances on track, according to a Coventry University expert.
11 hours ago
Siemens provides top tips for a greener, more sustainable 2022
Decarbonisation is a journey, and, like all journeys, it starts with making the first step and then the next. The critical thing is to start the journey and to start now. This is according to Carl Ennis, CEO of Siemens UK. Siemens globally has reduced its carbon footprint by more than 50 per cent in its manufacturing emissions over the past 6 years on its journey to carbon zero by 2030.
1 day ago
BT seals data centre deal with BAI Communications for London Underground
BT has announced the signing of a multi-million-pound contract with BAI Communications (BAI), to deliver a core part of the company’s data centre requirements as it works with Transport for London (TfL) to enable high-speed mobile and Wi-Fi coverage on the London Underground.
1 day ago
Hybrid working model best for mental health
Employees who can split their working time between home and a formal workplace are 40 per cent less likely to experience mental health difficulties, new research has shown.
2 days ago
MPS Monitor integrates PaperCut data
MPS Monitor has announced the integration of PaperCut MF and Papercut NG print management data into its Analytics BI platform. The goal of this integration is to provide a feature-rich Business Intelligence and reporting environment to imaging dealers and Managed Print Services end customers who use the PaperCut MF and Papercut NG platforms for print management, job accounting, and secure printing.
3 days ago
Sharp expands half-cut cell portfolio with new panels
Sharp has announced the addition of the new 410W and 400W monocrystalline PERC silicon photovoltaic panels to its half-cut cell portfolio, the NU-JC410 and its all-black version the NU-JC400B.
4 days ago
Enterprises looking to hybrid multi-cloud
Nutanix has announced the UK-specific findings of its fourth global Enterprise Cloud Index (ECI) survey and research report, which measures enterprise progress with cloud adoption.
1 week ago
Cyberattack surge causing havoc for UK professional services organisations
Professional services companies in the UK have experienced 62 cyberattacks in the last 12 months, one every six days, according to new research by Keeper Security. The company's 2021 Cybersecurity Census Report has also revealed that almost half (48%) of IT decision-makers working at professional services companies have kept a cybersecurity attack on their organisation to themselves, raising questions about how badly affected businesses really are by these attacks. 
1 week ago
HP introduces devices for blended learning environments
HP Inc has introduced HP Fortis laptops, a new portfolio of PCs built to withstand the rigours of education environments.
1 week ago
Multicloud is here to stay, but complexity and challenges remain
Nutanix, experts in hybrid multi-cloud computing, has announced the findings of its fourth global Enterprise Cloud Index (ECI) survey and research report, which measures enterprise progress with cloud adoption.

Login / Sign up