Return To Work Questionnaire
Under the published government return to work protocol, when a business is re-opening employers must issue a pre-return to work questionnaire for employees who are returning, three days in advance of their return, who must confirm that they have no symptoms of Covid -19 and also that they are not self-isolating or awaiting the results of a Covid -19 test.
If an employee answers Yes to any of the mandatory questions, they should be advised to follow medical advice before returning to work:
- Do you have symptoms of cough, fever, high temperature, sore throat, runny nose, breathlessness or flu like symptoms now or in the past 14 days?
- Have you been diagnosed with confirmed or suspected Covid-19 infection in the last 14 days?
- Are you a close contact of a person who is a confirmed or suspected case of Covid-19 in the past 14 days (that is, less than two metres for more than 15 minutes accumulative in one day)?
- Have you been advised by a doctor to self-isolate at this time?
- Have you been advised by a doctor to cocoon at this time?
- Are there any other circumstances relating to Covid -19, not included in the form, which needs to be disclosed to allow your safe return to work?
The completion of the Return To Work Questionnaire is mandatory and employees should not be allowed to return without completing it.
Employers should also check if any of their employees fall within the HSE’s high risk group so that added precautions can be taken, as may be necessary.
The government protocol also requires that employees undergo induction training prior to their return, so that all potential health risks can be managed and reduced in the new Covid -19 workplace. Again this training is mandatory and employees must complete it to be allowed to return. Training should include:
- the latest up to-date advice and guidance on public health measures to prevent the spread of Covid -19
- how good hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette and physical distancing and other safety features will be required
- what to do if they develop symptoms of Covid -19 and who to contact
- how entrances, exits, communal areas such as kitchens, canteens, bathrooms, lifts, shared IT facilities etc will be managed
- any other organisation/sector specific advice that is relevant
Employers must also ensure that they have in place at least one Covid -19 employee representative who has been trained, and who can act as a conduit between employees and their employer in respect of any Covid 19 related matters.
All necessary templates and useful workplace posters and information in respect of returning to work can be found on the HSA website.