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Keeping safe as lockdown eases

As the lockdown rules evolve, businesses are thinking about what needs to happen to start trading again.

Adapting businesses to work within social distancing guidelines is key to providing protection for staff and customers. For retailers, this could mean a rise in the number of employees who will work alone. Some employees may also be working from home whilst other employees will be furloughed.


Whilst UK legislation doesn’t define lone workers it is, however, generally accepted to be “working in an area where there are no other workers present”. Significantly this means that, in the event of an accident, workplace emergency or suddenly falling ill and not having adequate provision of first aid, there is no one to give assistance or summon help!


COVID19 has resulted in an increase in the number of people working from home. This means that you carry out work activities in isolation from other people and, importantly, without direct supervision. It is estimated that COVID19 has resulted in nearly 14% of people working from home. That’s 4.2 million people who work remotely and without other colleagues nearby and, as more accidents happen in the home than anywhere else, health and safety risks need to be addressed. The Bira Insurance policy provides practical Health & Safety advice online including:


Furloughing employees is on everyone’s lips because of the UK Govt’s job retention scheme. If the job is retained, the business still requires employer’s liability insurance of at least £5m. This is to pay compensation if the business is found to be liable for an employee who is injured or becomes ill because of the work they do for the business. You must get Employers’ Liability (EL) insurance as soon as you become an employer and continue with it if you have employees on the payroll. 


As an employer there is a duty to undertake a risk assessment and put in place appropriate risk control measures to deal with them. It is a legal requirement to document risk assessments if you have more than 5 employees. It is good working practice to keep a written record irrespective of the number of staff employed. Following on from your risk assessment, you will need to produce a safety guide which sets out your company’s rules on working alone and helps your employees to understand the risks they may face.

Bira insurance is here to protect your business and your staff. Make sure that your insurance programme covers the complete range of risks that your business encounters

Find out more about Bira Insurance

Looking after business, taking care of people

If you have any questions, please call Towergate on 0300 123 5939 to talk to the Bira Insurance team

This is a marketing article provided by Bira Insurance.
British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) are an Introducer Appointed Representative of Towergate Underwriting Group Limited. Bira Insurance is a trading name of Towergate Underwriting Group Ltd who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered Address: 1 Minster Court, Mincing Lane, London, EC3R 7AA Registered in England with company number 4043759.