This is when employees can return to work in Scotland according to route map

By Finlay Greig
Friday, 22nd May 2020, 3:58 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd May 2020, 4:21 pm
The Scottish government announced their plans to relaunch paused sectors of industry (Shutterstock)
The Scottish government announced their plans to relaunch paused sectors of industry (Shutterstock)

A document released by the Scottish Government has provided a rough timeline outlining when certain employees will be able to return to their place of work.

Addressing Scottish Parliament on Thursday Ms Sturgeon said that the measures outlined in the document would be “gradual and incremental” and “they must also be matched with rigorous, ongoing monitoring of the virus.”

“There is no completely risk-free way of lifting lockdown,” she added. “But we must mitigate the risks as much as possible. And we must not at any stage act rashly or recklessly. [If] we move too quickly or without proper care, it could run out of control again very quickly.”

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Here are your key questions answered about Scotland's exit from lockdown

Working from home still the normal for most

The government’s four-phased plan will see workplaces deemed non-essential and paused during lockdown slowly opened up again.

Strict social distancing measures will need to be adhered to by all businesses, while those who can continue to work at home will be strongly encouraged to do so.

All current advice is subject to change.

Ms Sturgeon explained that the phases will be reviewed every three weeks, but these could be eased more quickly depending on the country’s progress in tackling the virus.

Advice for workers in phase 1

In this phase, which is scheduled to get underway on May 28, remote working will remain the default position for those who can work from home.

For those workplaces that are reopening, employers should encourage staggered start times and flexible working.

In phase 1 outdoor workplaces will be encouraged to resume with physical distancing measures in place “once guidance is agreed”.

The construction sector will also be encouraged to implement the first two phases in its restart plan. These two phases are COVID-19 pre-start site preparation and a “soft start” to site work. This will only be carried out if social distancing can be maintained. Ms. Sturgeon underlined that employers must also be willing to work with trade unions.

The safe reopening of the housing market will also begin.

Workplaces resuming in the following phases can undertake preparatory work on physical distancing and hygiene measures in this phase.

Advice for workers in phase 2

In Phase 2, remote working will remain the default for those who can, according to the government document

Indoor non-office based workplaces can resume, once relevant guidance has been agreed – including factories and warehouses, lab and research facilities – with physical distancing necessary.

The construction industry will move to later phases of its restart plan. Phase three will see the construction industry move to a steady state level of operations with social distancing or the use of PPE required. The final phase will see an increase in productivity in the construction workplace.

The government also anticipate a further relaxation of housing moves.

Advice for workers in phase 3

In Phase 3 remote working remains the default position for those who can.

Indoor office workplaces including call centres can reopen, once relevant guidance has been agreed and with physical distancing.

Advice for workers in phase 4

The fourth and final phase of the government’s lockdown route map will see remote and flexible working encouraged.

All types of workplaces would be open in line with public health advice.