Fact Service March 2022

Issue 11

Living with Covid plan ‘ignores H&S regs’

In a week in which inflation versus pay and the war in Ukraine made headlines, the TUC warned that the dangers of Covid must not be forgotten.

It wrote to business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng to point out that the Living with Covid plan announced in parliament on 21 February states that, from 1 April, employers will no longer have to explicitly consider Covid-19 in their risk assessments.

However, the TUC said, this change is in conflict with employers’ duty to “make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to the health and safety of his employees to which they are exposed whilst they are at work” (Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations reg.3(1)).

Accordingly, the union organisation reminded the business secretary that the regulation requires any risk to health to be incorporated in a risk assessment, and this must therefore include the ongoing risks working people face from contracting the coronavirus, including subsequently developing long Covid. It therefore wants him to clear up any resulting confusion by advising employers that they must still consider Covid-19 in workplace risk assessments.