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Guidance for group and service managers

Preparing for your staff to return to a council building

Step 1 - Premise risk assessment

To make sure your working environment is safe for your staff to return to, you must complete a premise risk assessment, in conjunction with your service area representative, as nominated by your head of service. This must be completed by group or service managers at County Hall, Bridlington Town Hall and Goole Offices.

The premise risk assessment will confirm that measures and safe systems are in place and are operational.

Once you have completed the form with your service area representative, it will be sent to your head of service for approval and a copy will be sent by email to safety services. You should also keep a copy of the risk assessment.

Premise risk assessment

Step 2 - Make sure the workplace is ready to be occupied

To make sure your workplace is ready for your staff, and to keep it COVID-secure while they are working, think about what you might need to put in place or order.

This might include:

  • extra sanitising and cleaning products for team use
  • keep left and social distancing signage

If any further signage is required, this can be ordered from print and design. Please speak to your service area representative.

Step 3 - Identify returning staff

You are encouraged to take a proactive approach to discussing working arrangements with your staff and identify a solution that works best for each staff member and your service area.

This may be:

  • returning to the office
  • continuing to work from home
  • a mixture of both office and home working

Once you have agreed a staff member is returning to the office, you should ask them to complete the steps detailed on our Guidance for staff page.

Step 4 - Plan work rosters

To minimise contact between your staff you may wish to plan work rosters.

Consider creating work bubbles for your staff, and alternating when those staff work.

Bubbles can consist of several members of staff, depending on the size of the office, and can alternate days during the week. The bubbles must be made up of the same team members and hot desking is not permitted.

Step 5 - Individual risk assessment

If a member of your team has concerns or feels anxious about returning to the office, they can ask you to undertake an individual risk assessment with them. Managers should take a proactive approach with the individual risk assessment process and make sure staff returning to the office are aware of this option.

The risk assessment will help you and your staff member discuss and address those concerns prior to them returning to the office.

Once completed, both you and your staff member must sign the document. This should then be sent by email to the HR helpdesk.

Individual risk assessment


You should review this individual risk assessment with your staff member at least on a monthly basis, if government guidelines change, or if you or they have other concerns you need to discuss, and in line with any interventions put in place.

When staff have returned to a council building

Monitor compliance

You should proactively check that staff are complying with the safe systems of work and adopted procedures related to keeping a COVID-secure work environment, such as:

  • adhering to the clear desk policy to help with the new cleaning regime
  • only using their allocated workspace so the 2 metre social distance is maintained
  • keeping left when moving around the building
  • opening windows while in the office to achieve maximum ventilation

If, as a manager, you have any COVID-19 related concerns, please discuss them with your service area representative. Contact details for these staff will be displayed on posters near your office.

Coronavirus related safety issues or concerns

If a member of staff has a COVID-19 related concern, whether this is about a work colleague, or their working environment, please aim to resolve the matter initially.

If you need any advice, please contact your service area's nominated officers in safety services, asset strategy and human resources (as relevant).


What should I do if any employee who is working in a council building, or someone in their household, has coronavirus symptoms?
If the staff member has symptoms:
  • advise the member of staff to request a coronavirus test online or by calling 119
  • the staff member must also self isolate while they wait for their test result to come back to prevent the spread of the virus
  • email the public health team to inform them of what has happened (if the staff member tests positive, the room they have been in may need to be cleaned thoroughly)
  • if the coronavirus test result is positive, the staff member will be contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service. Please remind them to give the details of any colleagues they have been in close contact with in the 48 hours prior to their symptoms starting.
  • if the test was negative, they feel well, and no one in their household had symptoms, they can return to work
If someone in their household has symptoms:
  • advise them that their entire household must self isolate for 14-days (from the start of symptoms)
  • they should request a test online or by calling 119 for the person showing symptoms
  • if anyone else in the household begins to show symptoms, then they must stay home for at least 10-days from when they begin to be ill, and also request a test
  • if a negative test result is received for the first case, then household isolation can end if they feel well, and if no one else in the household has symptoms
  • the staff member can then return to work

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