Report from Aviva shows how safety concerns could impact business recovery plans
Although 61% of those returning to work believe their employer will put the right safety measures in place, 35% report they don't trust their employer to make the workplace safe. For this reason, they say they won't return to work for their employer. These are just some of the findings from a recent Aviva survey of more than 2,000 UK employees across a wide variety of ages, industry sectors and geographic locations.
For workers who feel neutral or negative about returning to work, infection remains their top concern. Whether from colleagues (44%) or customers (33%), employees are most concerned about virus transmission in the workplace.
Overall though, half (49%) of employed British adults feel positive about the prospect of returning to their place of work after lockdown, nearly a fifth (18%) feel negative.
We encourage businesses to seek expert risk management advice
According to Aviva, although some businesses are taking the necessary steps to ensure safety measures are in place and communicated, there is a long way to go before many others are compliant with the practical guidance from the government to make work safe for employees and customers. The insurer says the findings underscore the need for employers to embrace clear risk management and prevention strategies to protect their people and the public.
The biggest concern facing young people returning to work is confusion and a lack of communication over social distancing (39%). Underscoring the importance of communication, young people were also the most critical of communication per se from their employer, with just 14% rating communication with their employer as ‘excellent' - well below the average response of 25% who rated employer communication as ‘excellent'.
Employees' concern of catching Covid-19 from colleagues varied widely by location. For Londoners though, the greatest concern wasn't the workplace itself, but getting there. Concern about commuting by public transport was noted by nearly half (47%) of all respondents in the Greater London area, more than any other area of concern.
Attitudes towards risk were equally varied across industry sectors. Healthcare workers recorded the lowest levels of personal concern with regards to infection from colleagues (38%), compared to other sectors in the survey. They also had a relatively low score for concern of infection from patients (34%). The industry most concerned about infection from colleagues was construction, at 60%.
Chris Andrews, Head of Risk Management Solutions at Aviva, commented: "Many businesses may have very specific operational requirements, and expert advice may be the best course of action for them. We encourage businesses to seek expert risk management advice as they emerge from lockdown to ensure they are taking the necessary steps to protect people. Not only will this build confidence amongst employees and customers, but it will equally minimise the risk of infection and related claims for liability."
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