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Staying Covid-safe at work

With the lifting of most restrictions, we provide an overview of the latest work from home rules, along with an updated Safe at Work letter for vulnerable kidney patients to share with your employer. 

In the summer, when shielding ended we published a letter for everyone who is at highest risk from Covid-19 to use in discussion with their employers about how to keep safe at work. We were delighted that many people used it and many charities shared it.  

As most people are now advised they can return to the workplace, we publish this updated letter and also highlight that the Government have confirmed that, because of their continuing increased risk from Covid-19, people who are immunosuppressed are still advised to:

“Work from home if you can. If you cannot work from home, speak to your employer about what temporary arrangements they can make to reduce your risk”

Returning to work letter

In the letter, we have highlighted the following key points:

  • Enable working from home wherever possible
  • Risk assessments
  • Safety best practice
  • Reasonable adjustments
  • Mental wellbeing support

You can download the letter here and share with your employer as you have discussions about your safety at work.  

Individuals will have different views on what feels right for them, and some of you may have very legitimate concerns about your own ongoing risks from Covid-19, which should be discussed during the risk assessment process.

What are the general work from home rules?

  • In England the Government is no longer asking people to work from home, unless they fall into an at risk group
  • In Scotland, similar guidance has now been relaxed. The government wants firms to let workers return gradually - allowing them to spend some time in the office and some time at home.
  • In Northern Ireland, current guidance is to work from home where you can. Offices no longer need to take reasonable measures for 2m (6ft) social distancing, although risk assessments should still be carried out.
  • In Wales, the government says it remains important to work from home if you can. A legal restriction to work from home unless unavoidable - with £60 fines for anyone who did not comply - has been scrapped.

What do firms have to do to keep workers safe?

Employers are asked to follow official safety guidance and carry out Covid-19 risk assessments for those staff who are in the office.

Safety measures can include:

  • improving ventilation
  • additional cleaning
  • turning away people with Covid

There is more detailed advice for some industries - including construction, hospitality and manufacturing, plus specific advice for employers in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

For high risk employees, employers are urged to do all they can to enable home working, or to put in place strict measures for those who cannot work from home, to reduce their risk of contracting Covid-19.  

Face-coverings remain mandatory for staff and customers in shops and on public transport across the UK, apart from England.

We strongly advise however that vulnerable kidney patients continue to exercise caution by following Covid-safe guidance in and out of the workplace, including being fully vaccinated.  For the latest information and advice, take a look at COVID-19 and polycystic kidney disease.

Stay up to date with PKD Charity events, patient stories and research news as it happens.


Polycystic Kidney Disease Charity
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