Posted on: 26 June 2020

COVID-19 measures in the UK

Across the UK, there are currently varying measures in place to prevent the spread of the virus. For the latest COVID-19 rules, regulations and measures, visit the government website of the country that you are based.

England: The latest guidance for businesses in England can be at the UK government website.

Northern Ireland: Northern Irish businesses can find the most up to date guidance at the Northern Irish Department of Health website.

Scotland: For the latest updates for Scottish businesses, visit the Scottish government’s website.

Wales: Business based in Wales can find the most up to date information by visiting the Welsh government website.

The following article may refer to government guidelines which were in place on the date it was published.

Staying safe on your work commute

Many of the UK’s businesses are now allowed to reopen, including those in the non-essential retail sector. The next phase, where businesses in the hospitality industry and hair or beauty industry will be permitted to reopen, is expected to begin in July 2020.

With more businesses reopening, more people will need to commute to their place of work. Because of this, the risk of coronavirus transmission is increased, so we are giving you tips on how you can help your colleagues or staff stay safe from coronavirus when commuting to and from work.

How to safely travel to and from work

Public transport

Before the pandemic, millions of people in the UK relied on public transport to get them to and from work, especially in major cities where using a car is inconvenient and parking is limited. People will continue to rely on public transport when they need to go back to work as the measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic ease.

If anyone at your businesses needs to use public transport, ensure they have a face mask. As of 15th June 2020, it is compulsory to wear face coverings on public transport in England. When travelling you should also use hand sanitiser and keep 2 metres apart from others where possible, to help avoid contracting the virus.

Travelling by car

Taking a car alone is one of the safest ways of commuting to work.  You should encourage your team to travel alone, rather than carpooling with others from a different household, or “bubble”.

If anyone relies on carpooling, they should check that the driver cleans the car after anyone else has used it, practices good hygiene before and after entering the vehicle and sits in the rear seat opposite the driver to allow a sufficient gap for social distancing.

Walking, cycling or other non-motorised forms of transport

These are the methods of transport that you should encourage your staff to use if your staff live local to their place of work. Where possible they should maintain a safe distance of 2 metres away from other pavement or road users. Not only will they be safer, but it will also encourage the people at your business to take some form of exercise as part of their working day and will also be better for the environment.

You could also encourage your employees to use electric bicycles or electric scooters, which may be rare amongst your team, but are safer than driving or taking the bus, and not as expensive to run as a car.

Commuter tax benefits

There are a variety of benefits that your staff will be able to take advantage of if they explore different methods of commuting. These benefits are not new by any means, but something that they might want to explore.

Season ticket loan

If commuting by train is the most convenient solution for your staff, a season ticket loan could help them with those costs.

A season ticket loan is thought to be more cost-efficient than buying a monthly pass or daily tickets, so if someone travels frequently by train, they can get a season ticket loan, which is interest-free up to £10,000 and is paid directly from the user’s salary, pre-tax.

Cycle to work scheme

If you offer a cycle to work scheme, promote it to your team, as cycling is safer than using public transport and keeps people active.

If you don’t already have a cycle to work scheme at your business, consider adopting one for your employees to benefit from. A cycle to work scheme allows someone to buy a bicycle/electric bike and equipment that they will use to commute to work, and pay for the cost of the equipment directly in a tax-efficient way, from their regular salary. The employee typically saves 25%+ when they use a cycle to work scheme.

Other considerations

If possible, a solution to minimise the risk of commuting to work could be to figure out or continue to have employees working from home. For a lot of industries this isn’t possible, but those who have this option, they should explore it further. Similarly, if you already have employees working from home, allow this to continue until the threat of COVID-19 has significantly reduced.

You may be interested in reading some of our other COVID-19 guides:

Further guides can be found on our Insight Hub.

Business insurance with Premierline

It’s important to make sure that you have the right insurance in place to protect the business that you have built.

Every business is different and has its own business insurance needs, which is why we work with some of the UK’s most well-known insurers to make sure that you are getting the right insurance cover for your business. If you are looking for further COVID-19 business insight, take a look at our Coronavirus Information Page.

Source: Zywave Inc. – Risk Insights: Commuting Post-coronavirus

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