The City of London Corporation is urging workers in the Square Mile to speak out if they are being forced or pressured to come into work during the national lockdown.
Government restrictions, set out in law, state that we all must stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives. You can only leave home for work purposes where it is unreasonable for you to do your job from home. This includes, but is not limited to, people who work within critical national infrastructure, construction or manufacturing that require in-person attendance. Full details are available at www.gov.uk/coronavirus.
Workers concerned about the behaviour of their employer can contact the City Corporation here. Enquires will be dealt with in strict confidence, and officers are more than happy to provide advice, answer questions and refer issues to other relevant bodies where required.
Employers have a legal responsibility to protect their employees and other people on site. All relevant information relating to employee safety and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic can be found on the City Corporation website here. Businesses must take every possible step to facilitate employees working from home, including providing suitable IT and equipment to enable remote working. Extra consideration should be given to those people at higher risk.
Employers should also be familiar with the City Corporation’s Standard Operating Procedure for premises including details on processes and procedures on COVID-19 outbreak prevention and management.
City of London Police officers have issued more than 50 fines relating to breaches of COVID-19 restrictions in the Square Mile.
Port Health & Environment Committee Chairman Keith Bottomley said:
“The current situation is extremely serious, so it is vital that we stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.
“No one should be travelling into work unless it is absolutely necessary, and those that do should think carefully about whether they truly need to be at their workplace.
“If your employer is pressuring you to go into work when you don’t need to, please do speak out.”
Businesses and venues that breach restrictions on the national lockdown are potentially subject to a range of fines, starting at £1,000 for the first offence and rising to £10,000 upon repeat offences. Businesses can also be closed where they pose a serious and imminent threat to public health, including where this is necessary and proportionate to manage the spread of COVID-19 in the local authority’s area
Individuals can also be issued with a fixed penalty notice, starting at £200 for those who participate in illegal gatherings. The police also have the power to take action against those holding or being involved in the holding of an illegal gathering of more than 30 people. This includes issuing a fixed penalty notice of £10,000.
More information is available here.