Updated: Nov 15, 2020
The Independent SAGE Report 10
A safe return to the workplace is essential for the economy, the health of workers and of the wider community. It must therefore be at the core of any effective strategy to deal with COVID-19. However, such safety is endangered by the gig economy, precarity, structural inequalities low pay, lack of sick pay, zero hours contracts and a disregard for the law by some employers. COVID safety cannot be taken for granted or left to the discretion of individual enterprises. It must be guaranteed by robust principles, policies and procedures.
Return to work should be rooted in the precautionary principle for all workers, including those not directly employed. That is, reopening must be contingent upon the development of a robust and agreed COVID Safe plan that is both officially certified and regularly monitored. Central Government, Government Agencies and Employers all have responsibilities to ensure that this happens both through existing health and safety law, through enhancing regulations on employment, welfare and health and safety legislation where necessary, and through new COVID-specific information, recommendations, policies and resources.
This Charter sets out key actions required by different parties in order to ensure that all workplaces are COVID Safe.