In Dudley borough
Please find below the latest guidance and resources for businesses and workplaces
Restrictions are easing across the UK
Step 1 of the roadmap out of lockdown has begun. From 29 March, the ‘stay at home’ rule ends - and up to 6 people or 2 households can meet outside. Shielding ends on 31 March.
Certain businesses are required to remain closed.
In response to local needs, a frequently asked questions (FAQS) paper has been prepared to collate and respond to common questions asked likely to be asked by business proprietors and cases. Frequently Asked Questions for Workplaces
As many as 1 in 3 people with Covid-19 have no symptoms so it’s important that you and your staff get tests, which will provide not only reassurance to your co-workers, but your customers too.
Key workers are being encouraged to access the lateral flow (symptom free) testing offer twice a week wherever possible.
If you have any one of the main symptoms of COVID-19:
- a new, continuous cough
- a high temperature
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
You should immediately self-isolate for 10 days and book a test either online (using the link below) or by calling 119.
Do you have other symptoms?
Some Dudley borough residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 have displayed other symptoms. Though these are not the COVID symptoms, we would like to encourage residents to get tested as a precaution:
- aches and pains
- feeling very tired for no good reason
- sore throat
- runny nose
- tummy ache in children.
If you have any of the above symptoms you must not book a lateral flow (symptom free) test.
Businesses and venues are required under health and safety legislation to follow the appropriate COVID-19 Secure guidance for their sector.
Priority actions to take - what businesses need to do to protect staff and customers:
Eight steps to protect yourself, your staff and your customers during coronavirus.
- Complete a COVID-19 risk assessment. Share it with all your staff. Find out how to do a risk assessment.
- Clean more often. Increase how often you clean surfaces, especially those that are being touched a lot. Ask your staff and your customers to use hand sanitiser and wash their hands frequently.
- Remind your customers and staff to wear face coverings in any indoor space or where required to do so by law. You are not responsible for enforcing customer face covering law; however, you should take reasonable steps to ensure customers are aware they are required to wear a face covering – such as by displaying a notice. This is an important reminder to help mitigate transmission. It is especially important if your customers are likely to be around people they do not normally meet. Some exemptions apply. Check when to wear one, exemptions, and how to make your own.
- Make sure everyone is social distancing. Make it easy for everyone to do so by putting up signs or introducing a one way system that your customers can follow.
- Consider ventilation. Read advice on air conditioning and ventilation from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
- Turn people with coronavirus symptoms away. If a staff member (or someone in their household) or a customer has a persistent cough, a high temperature or has lost their sense of taste or smell, they should be isolating. Employers must not require someone who is being required to self-isolate to come to work. Any employer asking an employee to break self-isolation to work is committing an offence.
- Consider the mental health and wellbeing aspects of COVID-19 for yourself and others. The government has published guidance on the mental health and wellbeing aspects of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Four more things to be aware of if your business is a shop, retail store or a branch:
- Ensure staff wear face coverings. By law, staff in retail settings must wear face coverings when in customer facing areas, unless they have an exemption.
- Reduce crowding. Consider how many people can be in the space while remaining socially distant. Use floor markings to manage queues.
- Help your staff maintain social distancing. Consider using barriers to separate staff and customers, introduce back-to-back or side-to-side working, and have staff work in the same team each day.
- Communicate and train. Make sure all staff and customers are kept up to date with how safety measures are being used and updated.
These are the priority actions to make your business safe during coronavirus, you should also read the full version of the guidance online at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/shops-and-branches
An owner, proprietor or manager carrying out a business (or a person responsible for other premises) who fails to fulfil the obligations placed on them in law, without reasonable excuse, commits an offence.
Businesses and venues that breach restrictions will potentially be subject to fines and/or legal notices.
Mental Health Resource Packs.
The pandemic has caused a lot of uncertainty, particularly for some workplaces. Changes and challenges such as the lockdowns, social distancing, disrupted routines, home schooling, upsetting news announcements, worry about loved ones are all impacting on our health and wellbeing.
Looking after our mental health has never been so important. As part of this year’s Blue Monday – Turning Dudley Green Campaign, mental health resource packs have been created to provide specific information and guidance for workplaces. Please follow this link to access your resource pack.
If you are car sharing then you must not share the car with someone from outside your household or your support bubble unless your journey is undertaken for a legally permitted reason. For example, if car sharing is reasonably necessary as part of your work.
It is difficult to socially distance during car journeys. Where it is essential to car share, you can reduce the risk of transmission by:
- opening windows for ventilation
- travelling side by side or behind other people, rather than facing them, where seating arrangements allow
- facing away from each other
- considering seating arrangements to maximise distance between people in the vehicle
- cleaning your car between journeys using standard cleaning products - make sure you clean door handles and other areas that people may touch
- asking the driver and passengers to wear a face covering
Report a business
If you wish to report a business for not complying with the rules, please contact Citizen's Advice.
By law, staff and customers of retail settings are required to wear a face covering, unless they have an exemption.
Dudley Council have produced an exemption card for use by anyone with legitimate health reasons. This is available to download now to print or use on mobile devices.
You can view and download posters to display for both staff and customers to make them aware of coronavirus guidelines.
If you have trouble downloading them or require physical or translated copies please email: email@example.com.
View all of the posters here.
Travelling during Covid-19
Hands, face, space
It is critical that everybody observes the following key behaviours:
- HANDS – Wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds.
- FACE – Wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
- SPACE – Stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place.
Join our campaign to support Dudley borough businesses.
If you want to receive the latest advice and support for your business sign up to our free email updates. It’s quick and easy and can be done here.
Temporary Licence applications for the hospitality industry to place tables and chairs on the public highway are now open. Find out more and apply here.
Health and wellbeing
Find guidance on staying well and supporting staff and colleagues with home working here.
Mental Health at Work have produced this guide: Remote working: a practical safety guide for businesses
See the CIPD Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for UK employers
Skills and recruitment
Find out what support is available here.
Businesses are now able to sign up to be part of the landmark £2 billion Kickstart scheme, giving unemployed young people a future of opportunity and hope by creating high-quality, government-subsidised jobs across the UK.
Under the scheme, announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak as part of his Plan for Jobs, employers can offer youngsters aged 16-24 who are claiming Universal Credit a six-month work placement.
The government will fully fund each “Kickstart” job - paying 100% of the age-relevant National Minimum Wage, National Insurance and pension contributions for 25 hours a week.
Covid-19 isolation payment
From Monday 28 September, people in Dudley who have been told by the NHS to self-isolate, either because they have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, may be entitled to some financial support (£500) during their self-isolation period. www.dudley.gov.uk/covidisolationpayment
You can find further support and advice via the links below: