The guidebook details advice on risk management such as how employers should approach staff that have lost a loved one
Specialist insurance broker NDML has released a guidance handbook for the hospitality and leisure industry ahead of the sector’s reopening on 4 July.
It details how to reopen a venue in the hospitality and leisure sector safely for owners across the UK and minimising the spread of the virus for staff and customers.
All businesses are legally obliged to undertake a full risk assessment to ensure a safe reopening.
Victoria Romero-Trigo, finance director at NDML, said: “NDML has been fighting side by side with the night-time industry since the pandemic first broke.
“From working with the FCA to ensure fair insurance pay out right through to writing open letters to the government, we’ve fought to protect the industry and safeguard its future.
”Now there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel, and we want to help make sure venues have all the information they need to re-open safely and successfully.”
It follows ongoing uncertainty around how and when venues might be able to open as lockdown is eased.
The handbook includes information on:
- Health & Safety – how to reduce risk to employees and customers
- Risk Management – includes example risk assessments and template for venues
- HR & Employment – the best way to support the workforce
- Operational Advice – the measures to put in place to ensure venues operate safely
- Re-opening check-list – key considerations when recommissioning a venue
- Wellbeing advice – ways to implement an effective wellbeing strategy to support staff
The guide suggests conducting a risk assessment first, it states: “Every single business is different, and so are the risks that are inherent with their activities. Covid-19 is just a new hazard that needs to be addressed as part of the risk assessment process.
“It is extremely important, not only for the safety, but also for the mental wellbeing, of your employees, to ensure that the relevant control measures are in place and are able to be adhered to in order to open the doors to your business once again.”
While the handbook highlighted that there will be some venues that will be unable to open just yet, it stressed that it is vital to plan in advance.
In terms of risk management, it suggested staggering start and finish times of staff, staggering lunch breaks, reducing the number of meetings in the workplace and cancelling all unnecessary large gatherings.
Losing a loved one
It said that despite the virus diminishing for the time being, the effects of it will be lasting on friends, colleagues, and customers.
It stated: “During the lockdown it is quite feasible that some of your employees may have suffered a bereavement due to the Covid-19 pandemic – this can have a huge effect on different people in different ways.
“They may not have been able to say goodbye to their loved ones in the way that they normally would, with friends and family in a traditional funeral setting.
”This means that emotions are still going to be fragile. As an employer, you need to be aware that your employees’ mental health is also your responsibility when they are at work.”
Meanwhile it flagged lack of social interaction and anxiety caused from the potential of catching the virus as employees return to work as other factors that could affect mental health.
Capacity to retain staff
With the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme remaining open until the end of October, NDML also highlighted that some staff may not come back to work.
These include caring for a loved one, childcare responsibilities, living with a vulnerable person, transport issues, or anxiety around catching the virus if they have underlying conditions.
For any furloughed employees, it flagged the duty of care that employers have to keep these staff member in the loop and reduce anxiety.