As hospitality venues open around the country, it's now mandatory for restaurant and bar staff to wear a face mask at work. With new social distancing measures, strict guidelines and potential fines for non-compliance, what staff are wearing in hospitality, leisure and retail settings has come under increasing scrutiny.
Do hospitality uniforms now include PPE?
Under new rules, retail, leisure and hospitality staff who are working in an indoor area open to the public will need to wear a face covering. This will include staff in the many pubs, bars, cafes, restaurants and venues that have reopened in the UK, and PPE will be a legal requirement that business owners need to bear in mind when planning their staff uniforms.
Businesses are responsible for the health and safety of their staff while at work, therefore they will need to provide the correct level of PPE for staff who are facing the public. There have also been a number of enforcement measures introduced for people who do not comply, with fines of £200 for the first offence. Whether these are disposable face masks or professional FFP3 complaint masks isn't specified in law, and if an employee wishes to wear their own mask that should be allowed. It is important however to educate staff on mask wearing to ensure that they and the public they are serving are safer.
Aside from navigating the rules around staff safety, hospitality venues need to be aware of obligations relating to customers, the Government's website is the best place for advice, but it is also worth keeping up with industry resources and articles to understand best practices.
Involving staff in risk assessment
There are a number of resources to help the hospitality industry with their risk assessment requirements. The key however to making sure that employees feel included and engaged with the process of finding the best way to work safely, is to talk to them and ask for their opinions and ideas. It also makes a huge difference when you take the time to explain clearly the proposed changes that are being made in order to help every employee work safely. Introducing a host of updated safety protocols will also help induce greater levels of employee confidence.
A long-term solution
It has also been rumoured that mask-wearing could remain a legal requirement after the proposed date of 21st June when other rules are relaxed. Maintaining adequate levels of PPE will be a new and increasing concern for businesses, so finding a reliable supplier is incredibly important. At HeathBrook, we have a wide range of virus mitigation products including masks, sanitiser and other PPE, so you can count on us to help you prepare. We do however hope that virus mitigation measure will soon fade in importance to us all!