For those employees who have been following government guidelines and are working from home, there may be worries about returning to the workplace once restrictions are lifted or simply because you need them back in.

But what do you do if staff refuse to return to the workplace?

Speak to them in the first instance to find out the reasons why?

It could be childcare or caring responsibilities and if it is you need to find a workaround on this until schools are back in or to help support them in their caring duties.

But it could be that staff have simply got used to homeworking and they want this to continue.

In this situation be clear that this was only a temporary arrangement.

You can insist that they return to work providing that you have put covid secure measures in place.

It is up to you whether you agree to any working from home flexibility to keep staff happy.

Be mindful though of health concerns.

Some staff may be refusing to return because they have a health condition and/or are genuinely worried about their health and safety.

If they are not shielding but their concerns are genuine, risk assess and take steps to reduce or remove the risks.

Take care in “forcing” staff with legitimate concerns back too soon.

Their refusal could be justified.

See what you can organise in terms of home working or use of furlough.

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