Return to work advice


Hi all,

I set to return to work again this week and have just had my letter through from the government regarding this and Xmas, it reminds me that although a Xmas bubble is available to me the more I mix indoors the chance of catching covid is greatly increased and to ensure I am comfortable and don’t feel pressured to visit people.

I fully understand this but how can they suggest I go back to work, in retail in a busy supermarket mixing with every type of person 9 hours a day in an indoor setting but advise against seeing family at Xmas. Surely we are at the point where work return should be on a job type basis, if I worked in an office or job with minimal contact in understand my people contact could be managed but within retail at this time of year there is no hope of safe covid routines.

Anyone know who I would write to regarding this as surely there must be many many people in the same position.


  • Sharon_K
    Sharon_K Member Posts: 460

    Hi @silverfoxxxx

    this is indeed a difficult situation. The guidance for the extremely vulnerable for work are here

    The section on working says


    Everyone is currently advised to work from home where possible. As a general principle, working from home reduces the chance of you being exposed to the virus.

    If you need support to work at home or in the workplace you can apply for Access to Work. Access to Work will provide support for the disability-related extra costs of working that are beyond standard reasonable adjustments an employer must provide.

    If you cannot work from home, you can still go to work in all tiers.

    Your employer is required to take steps to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace and should be able to explain to you the measures they have put in place to keep you safe at work.

    Where employers are not managing the risk of COVID-19, the Health and Safety Executive and local authorities will take action which can range from the provision of specific advice, issuing enforcement notices, stopping certain work practices until they are made safe and, where businesses fail to comply with enforcement notices, this could lead to prosecution.

    If you have concerns about your health and safety at work you can raise them with your workplace union, the Health and Safety Executive or your local authority.

    Consider how to get to and from work. If you need to use public transport, you must wear a face covering unless you are exempt. Consider travelling outside peak hours to reduce the number of people with whom you come into contact.

    If you have concerns you can get advice on your specific situation and your employment rights by visiting the Acas website or calling the Acas helpline on 0300 123 1100.

    If you cannot make alternative arrangements, your employer may be able to furlough you under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which has been extended until the end of March 2021. You should have a conversation with your employer about whether this is possible.

    Sadly it seems the onus is on you to talk to your employer and hope that they can furlough you or maybe get some advice from ACAS. Let us know how you get on

    Best Wishes


  • silverfoxxxx
    silverfoxxxx Member Posts: 131

    thanks, I have read through this, and the company I work for has said they have made it Covid secure but that just involves me wearing a mask amongst 1,000’s of customers a week who lean across and get close to you all day long. Not secure in my eyes especially if the advice is bad enough to not see family at Christmas, this goes against each other for CEV people.

  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992

    The rules are not well thought out which is not a surprise given that politicians with no practical experience (and some may say little common sense) adjust professional medical and scientific advice to suit their own purposes. My baby sister has OA and Asthma and has worked in ASDA throughout the whole pandemic, she is unable to wear a mask and has worn a face shield instead, this is combination with plastic gloves, hand sanitiser and good hygiene practices has kept her free from symptoms. Luckily she works behind a counter for the most part but has had to cover work on the floor of the shop when people have been off, she does not get closer than about 3 feet from customers and will back off from them. She has, understandably, been anxious about catching and spreading the virus but after 9 months is accepting that she will be OK if she maintains her standards. The worst thing she has found is the reaction of some customers who berate and swear at staff about shortage of products, the need to wear a mask, follow in-store covid protection measures etc, especially from those that have come down to their holiday homes.

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,423

    I would write to my MP might not get you anywhere, but you might feel better and maybe others will be writing too????

    Wear a face shield as well as a mask and sanitise you hands as often as you can - I really feel for you ((()))