Back in February, when announcing his 4-step plan for coming out of lockdown, Prime Minister Boris Johnson famously said that England is on a "one way road to freedom".
The national roadmap, which aims to see all aspects of society reopened by the 21st of June this year, aims to get a number of businesses open for the 12th April, including:
- Non-essential retail and personal care businesses like hairdressers
- Outdoor settings like alcohol takeaways, beer gardens, zoos, theme parks, and drive-in cinemas
- Indoor leisure, such as swimming pools and gyms
- Self-contained holiday accommodation, such as self-catering and campsites
After being closed for months, many businesses will see April 12th as a light at the end of the tunnel.
Whilst this is brilliant from a business perspective, businesses of all sizes are under considerable pressure to ensure that both their employees and the general public feel safe and secure.
With that said, we’ve put together this blog so that those working in the hospitality and retail sectors know exactly how we can help you get back to work safely and smoothly…
Health & Safety Training
Arguably one of the most important things that employers need to do upon reopening is to ensure their staff have been trained on important and relevant health & safety topics.
With many businesses in the hospitality and retail sectors making use of the furlough scheme, training employees before they make the return to work can be beneficial in a number of ways.
Employees feel safe and prepared before they return to work, giving them confidence in doing their job safely.
As employees can legally do training whilst furloughed, it can be beneficial to make use of this time.
It is crucial that businesses continue to make employees feel valued after a long period of time off, and providing them with training lets them know that their safety and wellbeing are within your best interests.
Some key Health & Safety Training courses we suggest employees take before returning to work are:
Fire Awareness Training
This training course is legally required to be completed by all members of staff. It is important that all employees know what to do in the event of a fire, as well as how to prevent fires from occurring in the first place.
Upon returning to work, it is essential that all employees are familiarised with best practices to prevent fires from occurring at work and how to keep themselves and others safe. This is just as important for new employees as it is for returning employees who have already completed Fire Awareness Training as part of their induction.
Manual Handling Training
The nature of working in the hospitality and retail sectors normally involves a number of tasks that require manual handling, like moving stock and taking deliveries.
It is crucial that staff are reminded of the best practices to avoid injury whilst completing a task that requires lifting, and our Manual Handling Training course teaches them everything they need to know to lift safely.
Infection Prevention & Control Training
Whilst we all hope that we’re now coming towards the end of the pandemic, it is still present in the UK and we must do what we can to avoid spreading the virus.
Our Infection Prevention & Control Training course teaches users the importance of infection prevention measures and how to reduce the chance of spreading an infection/virus.
Having staff complete this training course also gives customers reassurance that your business is doing everything it can to keep them safe.
HR & Business Compliance Training
As well as Health & Safety topics, businesses that are soon to reopen should consider training their staff in other areas to prepare them for a return to work.
HR & Business Compliance Training courses can help employees feel prepared to get back to work smoothly and to hit the ground running.
Here are some of our most relevant courses for returning employees...
Returning to Work (during & after COVID-19) Training
Thoughtful planning, organisation, preparation, and manageable expectations will help ease employees back to work, and this training course helps users to understand the importance of these factors.
This Returning to Work Training course looks at return-to-work catch-ups, risk assessments, team communication, handling concerns/anxiety in connection to COVID-19, policies, and practices to consider.
Mental Health Awareness Training
During their time off, there are a number of factors that could have negatively impacted your employees mental health as a result of the pandemic. This includes the loss of loved ones, financial struggles, and social isolation.
Providing your staff with Mental Health Awareness Training not only teaches them how to look out for their colleagues, but it also offers them practical tips to take care of their own wellbeing.
Customer Service Training
It has been a while since those working in the hospitality and retail sectors have had to deal with customers.
By providing your employees with Customer Service Training, you’ll help them to be more confident in handling customer interactions, queries, and complaints upon their return to the workplace.
Policies and procedures
Another key consideration employers must make upon their staff returning to work is what policies they need to introduce to keep the workplace safe.
Whilst this massively depends on the nature of your business, some key policies and procedures that you should consider implementing (or updating if you have existing policies and procedures) are:
- Hygiene policy
- Social Distancing policy
- Self-isolation procedures
- Handwashing procedures
We’ve put together some example policies for your workplace, which can be copied and edited so they are tailored for your organisation. You can download them for free here.
Additionally, we offer a Documents & Policies Sharing Tool that allows our clients to share their internal policies and procedures with their staff through their training suite.
Employers can even make their policies mandatory reading, and can easily keep track of who has read their important documents.
We’ve been developing content surrounding returning to the workplace for the best part of a year, and we’ve got a large variety of free content that can help your return to the workplace be safe & smooth.
Additionally, we’ve been working with Health & Safety and Employment Law specialists, Citation, to produce even more content surrounding returning to work.
Here are some of the areas we’ve covered and the topics they include…
- Coronavirus and Furlough Scheme
- Prevent Spreading Germs Poster
- Reducing Spread of Infection Poster
- Free Coronavirus awareness video
- COVID-19 Health & Safety Checklist
- COVID-secure Risk Assessments & Inspections guide
- Furlough scheme extension guide
- Furlough: your options explored & returning employees guide
- Vaccinations and testing FAQs
- COVID-19 and pregnant employees guide
- Redundancy checklist
Returning to Work
- Sample policies & procedures
- Training Plan for those working in Hospitality & Retail
- Face Masks & Respirators guide
- Returning to Work White Paper
New to iHASCO?
We’re market-leading providers of Health & Safety, HR, and Business Compliance eLearning. Our mission is to make training simple.
We offer a wide range of courses designed specifically for the hospitality and retail sectors, and as well as getting you back to work safely & smoothly, we can provide your organisation with a number of valuable online training courses to help you build and develop the skills of your employees and work towards compliance with current legislation.
- See all of our training courses for the retail sector
- See all of our training courses for the hospitality sector