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Guidance for Government of Jersey managers on Jersey’s Safe Exit Framework

​About the guidance

This page provides instruction and guidance for Government of Jersey and States of Jersey departments and line managers about what to consider, plan and implement to ensure that their business area is operating within the Government’s public health guidance during the Coronavirus pandemic.

This is an internal document for Government of Jersey managers and isn’t intended to be a guide for other employers.

The guidance comes with the consideration that any plans put in place need to be easily reverted if lockdown levels increase at any point.

This guidance applies to all Government and non-ministerial departments. For Health and Community Services, clinical and patient contact areas and Police, there’s separate advice. However, this guidance will apply to non-clinical and administrative settings in Health and Community Services.

You should familiarise yourself with the Government's public health guidance.

Key safe exit principles for employees 

The key principles that we should follow, to ensure we comply with public health guidance, are:

  • working from home: we encourage working from home and flexible working, but you should return colleagues to the workplace where this this isn't appropriate or where attendance is essential for delivering services
  • maintaining strict physical distancing in line with our internal policy of 2 metres apart for employees and customers
  • risk assessments will need to be carried out to safeguard our employees in certain situations, for example to determine whether an employee should attend work, for lone working and for health and safety purposes
  • strict hygiene measures for employees and customers must be in place: hand sanitiser must be available and prominent in all government workplaces
  • continue to shield those employees who fall into the high risk category (previously severely vulnerable) by enabling them to work from home when they can do so. We need to undertake risk assessments to inform these decisions and ensure safety
  • use of appropriate PPE measures must be observed where required, in accordance with public health guidance
  • that the Government of Jersey, as an employer, will role model the public health advice and stance communicated to Islanders, ensuring that we behave in line with all restrictions and measures

As part of our business continuity planning, departments must have plans in place should there be a spike in COVID-19 cases or a cluster of cases in any team, or department.

Resuming services

Decisions about which Government services should resume, and when, will be taken at a high-level by the Executive Leadership Team (ELT). We’ll take decisions against the backdrop that we’ll continue to encourage working from home and flexible working.

Actions for safe working

Government of Jersey departments and line managers must ensure that safe working practices are put in place, that all public health guidance is followed, and that we observe all Government restrictions and measures that are put in place to manage the pandemic.

Actions to take

Directors General must:

  • make sure that a Covid-19 workplace safety plan has been completed and submitted for all workplaces in their department (you are responsible for regularly reviewing this plan to ensure that it is fit for purpose as the Island moves through the safe exit levels)
  • all actions identified in the plan are put in place and monitored
  • the plan is communicated to all employees
  • ensure business continuity plans are in place and regularly reviewed

As a manager, you must consider whether it’s essential to the business for employees to return to the workplace. If it isn’t essential and homeworking can continue, employees shouldn’t be asked to return to the workplace. In addition, managers must:

  • read this guidance, familiarise yourself with the frequently asked questions for employees and business advice
  • ensure all appropriate risks assessments are undertaken
  • ensure that you have cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures and guidance in place
  • ensure you‘ve taken all reasonable steps to ensure employees can work from home
  • take all reasonable practical steps to ensure employees operate in line with 2 metres physical distancing in the workplace
  • make sure that you take steps to manage risk where it isn’t possible for employees to stay 2 metres apart

Working from home

Working from home and flexible working remains the default position. Therefore, you should plan for many employees to remain working remotely at least on a part time basis, wherever possible.

There are many business areas that will have adapted and changed their business models in response to the Government's guidance. This supports business continuity.

There is much talk of the ‘new norm’ and as an organisation, we shouldn’t assume that areas will return to the previous working model as social / physical distancing may be prolonged.  What has worked well and how will we adopt new ways of working, embrace the learning and opportunity to work differently?

Flexible working measures for homeworkers

It’s essential that you continue to think differently about how your team can work and how it can be organised differently. You need to prioritise flexible working patterns to help ensure the wellbeing of your team, while ensuring that your team can be as productive as possible, alongside their other responsibilities at home, such as caring for dependants who maybe unwell or shielding.  Some will be finding this tough and we need to support our employees.

Ensuring that flexible working patterns continue will support your team’s wellbeing. You must speak individually with team members and understand any pressures at home and how they’re coping, and respond accordingly.

We expect most employees to be able to work and fulfil their contractual obligations. You may find however, that a small number of staff are still juggling home or carer responsibilities with home working. If this is the case, work with your team members to find solutions. Perhaps that means working in the evening when children are asleep, or at a different time of day because somebody else in the household has been able to take over the care of dependants when they’ve finished work, or assign tasks that are better suited to frequent home interruptions, rather than work which needs an urgent response.

We expect employees to make every effort to respond positively to flexible working and make every effort to contribute.

Managing home workers remotely

We’ve already issued some guidance to help employees and managers adjust to homeworking, this will include:

  • undertaking a healthy working display screen equipment assessment
  • our health and safety responsibilities
  • our obligations to supply equipment
  • managing objectives and delivery of teams
  • day-to-day line management from a distance
  • checking in with team members regularly
  • being mindful of wellbeing issues
  • signposting to wellbeing resources
  • dealing with conduct issues
  • ensuring necessary training is completed. (You should make sure that team members have access to Virtual College as we’ll deliver more online training here.)

Next steps for homeworkers

Where employees continue to work from home for three months or longer, we’ll need to take additional steps to ensure that they have a safe working environment. This includes undertaking an online Display Screen Equipment (DSE) assessment to ensure homeworking arrangements are safe, as well as guidance on equipment and expenses.

Flexible working - guidance when considering applications

We have prepared some advice for managers to use when they are considering applications from employees to permanently change their working arrangements to include home working or flexible working hours


Health and safety

We’re following guidance from the Health & Safety Inspectorate. Our approach is to follow general principles of risk assessment for each individual Government workplace, tailored to the type of work, number of employees, whether there’s a customer-facing, and setting out how the over-riding principles of high-level welfare, hand washing facilities and arrangements to ensure 2 metres distancing will be maintained.

Risk assessments

We’ll be operating strictly in line with the general principle of undertaking risk assessments to safeguard Government of Jersey employees against a number of scenarios, including:

  • lone working (both at a work premises and at home)
  • pregnancy
  • those at high or moderate risk from COVID-19
  • those attending work but living with a household member who’s high risk
  • stress risk assessment
  • homeworking.
As a line manager, you’ll be responsible for ensuring that risk assessments are carried out. Make sure you understand when and where they’re needed and that they’re carried out appropriately. You can find all risk assessments on MyStates. If you haven’t completed a risk assessment before, ask for guidance from your Health and Safety Advisor.

Reassuring employees who need to come to work

We anticipate that some employees may be worried about returning to the workplace if we recall them. We’re ensuring that our advice and guidance is robust and offers reassurance for those who are worried. A welcome pack is available for those employees returning to work and you should include within this a copy of the COVID-19 workplace safety plan you’ve carried out for your business area, which should be available to all employees wherever they’re based.

This will mean that your team members will be well informed about the measures that have been taken within your business area and will be in a position to feed back if they feel something isn’t working. 

As a line manager, you must ensure that you keep your team continually keep up-to-date and that you’re checking in with them individually, and as a team, regularly.

We’ll continue to maintain and add content to the frequently asked questions for employees to support employees and give them access to advice and guidance.

Wellbeing support

Information about support that’s available for all Government of Jersey employees has been consolidated in the employee wellbeing information pack.

Working arrangements and physical distancing within workplaces (workplace safety plan)

We have produced a template COVID-19 workplace safety plan to ensure you consider how you may have worked before and the changes required to your business activities now to operate in line with Jersey’s safe exit framework. It is mandatory that this plan is completed and submitted for each department before recalling employees to the workplace, and updated when there are any changes to the workplace.

Once complete, or when updated you must send this plan to:

  1. your departmental Health and Safety Adviser: email Health and Safety hub, and
  2. your departmental business continuity lead to review and agree.

Once reviewed and agreed, only then should you submit it to the Business Continuity Team. Plans must be finalised or updated and submitted before employees return to the workplace.

The template contains questions about how teams might be organised, as well as what arrangements are in place to maintain safe distancing, good hygiene practices and all other usual health and safety arrangements that may now need to be adapted due to new working arrangements. For example, your trained fire marshals may now be working from home, so you’ll need to consider who will take on this role.

Physical distancing applies to all parts of a workplace, not just the place where employees spend most of the time. The plan requires you to record future use of office space and how adjustments may be needed to facilitate physical distancing. You also need to consider business resilience.

The plan should cover how you will:

  • limit and control the number of employees in the building at any one time, which may include staggering arrival and departure times, as well as break times or shift patterns
  • use markings and introduce one-way flow at entry and exit points and throughout the building
  • ensure access to adequate handwashing facilities (such as liquid soap, water and disposable hand towels) and hand sanitiser (with minimum 60% alcohol content) prominently available throughout the building
  • restrict access to areas such as small meeting rooms, and limiting the number of people in confined spaces, such as kitchens, toilets, lifts and changing rooms (such as operating a one in, one out policy)
  • review and adapt workstations and other work areas to ensure an absolute minimum space of 1 metres can be maintained. This may involve identifying desks and seating areas that shouldn’t be occupied, and restricting access to them. It may also be appropriate to use tape floor markings to ensure spacing can be clearly maintained
  • assign workstations to individuals while they’re at work. If workstations need to be shared with those working a different shift pattern, each workstation should be kept to a minimum number of people and cleaned between users
  • identify and implement ways to support employees travelling to work using their own means (walk, cycle or car) to reduce the need to travel by public transport
  • make sure that meetings can be distanced, preferably by using remote working tools, or making sure there’s at least 2 metres between participants. Smaller meeting rooms may need to be for single person use only.
  • manage shift working, which should, where possible, be split between sites to avoid contact between the shifts. Where this isn’t an option, as few employees as possible should attend the handover and all equipment must be thoroughly cleaned by both the outgoing and incoming team, including desks, phones, keyboards and shared equipment.
  • put in place procedures to minimise person-to-person contact
  • identify areas where people need to directly pass things to each other and find ways to remove direct contact and maintain 2 metre distancing where possible
  • address situations where it’s difficult to maintain 2 metre distancing, considering if this arrangement is essential. If necessary, use barriers, back-to-back working and minimise time and contact in this arrangement.
  • make sure portable tools are not shared between different people, wherever possible. Where this can’t be avoided, carefully consider what controls and cleaning procedures are needed, for example wearing gloves which are disposed of after each use
  • consider cleaning procedures needed when plant, machinery, vehicles or tools must be used by more than one person
  • review pick up drop off points, procedures, signage and markings
  • make sure that employees don’t share food and only make their own drinks
  • minimise contact for making payments exchanging documents, for example, by using electronic payment methods and electronically signing and exchanging documents where possible

For business continuity purposes we also advise that:

  • teams are split into a minimum of two teams to provide service resilience. The teams should ensure that the mix of skills is enough to run critical and essential services only
  • the teams are split between a main site (Team A) and a business continuity site (Team B). Team A and Team B must refrain from visiting the alternate sites
  • split teams should not be changed once in place
  • homeworkers, if needed to attend a site (primary or secondary), must only be allocated to that site and refrain where possible from visiting other sites
  • as part of physical distancing, we’re asking that employees don’t socialise with those in other teams or buildings other than the one they’re allocated to. This is to help protect the integrity of each location and avoid more than one site or team being affected in the event of an employee becoming ill with COVID-19

You’ll need to include what has been put in place to ensure employees who attend work aren’t only able to maintain physical distancing and other required measures, but also to ensure resilience in our workforce should we experience a further spike in the virus. 

Flyers and posters for print about coronavirus

Get flyers, factsheets and posters for print in different languages and British Sign Language

Flyers and posters for print about coronavirus

Use of PPE use of cloth masks

Face masks have been advised as an additional precautionary measure for individuals to wear to reduce the risk of them passing on the virus to other people, particularly in enclosed spaces such as shops and are now required if using public transport. It is not a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requirement within the workplace currently and face masks aren’t a substitute for correct PPE or other protective guidance, where this has been advised. See PPE guidance page for more information.

Employees can wear their own face masks if they wish, ensuring adequate storage for old masks and cleaning in line with the instructions. Face masks are not a substitute for other measures, such as physical distancing and good hygiene practice, which remain the best way to manage risk in the workplace. 

If employees choose to wear face masks, you must make it clear that physical distancing, regular hand washing and other good hygiene measures are still necessary.  

Plan for IT and equipment needs for returning employees

If you’re bringing employees who were issued with laptops back into the workplace, you’ll need to consider your IT equipment needs as the PC desk configuration will need to be changed. Discuss requirements with your Business Enablement Manager in preparation before you return these employees to the workplace.

Further guidance and advice

If you need guidance on any specific issues and you can’t find the answer either on coronavirus (COVID-19) or in our frequently asked questions for employees you can:

Frequently asked questions for managers

Resuming business 

Can I resume a service in the office that is usually run by my business area / team?

Decisions about which Government services should resume in the office, and when, will be taken at a high-level by the Executive Leadership Team (ELT). We’ll take decisions against the backdrop that we’ll continue to encourage working from home and flexible working.

How do I reassure team members who are apprehensive about returning to the work place?

We anticipate that some employees may be worried about returning to the workplace if we recall them. We’re ensuring that our advice and guidance is robust and offers reassurance for those who are worried. A welcome pack is available for those employees returning to work and you should include within this a copy of the COVID-19 workplace safety plan that you’ve carried out for your business area. You should also take time to talk individually to team members, to understand if they have concerns and to allay those concerns and offer reassurance where needed.

Sharing the COVID-19 workplace safety plan with your team will mean that they’re well informed about the measures that have been taken within your business area and they’ll be able to feed back to you if they feel something isn’t working.

As a line manager, you must ensure that you keep your team continually up-to-date and that you’re checking in with them individually, and as a team, regularly.

We’ll also continue to maintain and add content to the frequently asked questions on employees to support employees and give them access to advice and guidance.

Working from home

Should my team continue to work from home?

However, we still need to maintain a safe working environment and are encouraging home working to continue, so please don’t bring all colleagues back to the office.

Instead, please consider different ways of working that allow us to maintain social distancing.

COVID-19 Workplace Safety Plan 

What is a COVID-19 Workplace Safety Plan?

The COVID-19 Workplace Safety Plan is a template document we’ve created to ensure safe working practices during this pandemic. This template documents the actions being taken to reduce the risks to you and your colleagues while at work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s a mandatory requirement for each department to complete and / or amend this template before recalling employees to the workplace. Director Generals must nominate a manager to complete this on their behalf for each business area within their department. If you are a nominated manager, then you are responsible for regularly reviewing this plan to ensure that it is fit for purpose.

Where do I submit by COVID-19 Workplace Safety Plan?

Once complete, you must send this plan to:

  1. your departmental Health and Safety Adviser and
  2. your departmental business continuity lead to review and agree.

Once reviewed and agreed, only then should you email it to the Business Continuity Team Plans must be finalised and / or updated and submitted before employees return to the workplace.

If I update my COVID-19 Workplace Safety Plan, do I need to re-submit it?

Our response to the COVID-19 pandemic is an evolving situation, and therefore you should review your plan regularly and make changes as required.

If your plan is changed and updated, then you must re-submit it following the same steps as you originally did. 

Risk assessments

When do I need to undertake a risk assessment?

There are a number of scenarios when you’ll be required to undertake a risk assessment.

These are:

  1. if a member of your team is working alone in Government of Jersey premises, undertake a lone worker risk assessment
  2. if a member of your team is working alone at home, undertake a lone worker risk assessment
  3. if a member of your team is pregnant but is needed to attend work, undertake a pregnancy risk assessment
  4. if a member of your team falls into the moderate risk category but is needed to attend work, undertake a COVID-19 risk assessment. Those who are high risk must remain shielded at home and not attend work. Please see the section about those who are at high or moderate risk. Detailed information about what medical conditions makes an individual moderate or high risk can be found on our Clinically extremely vulnerable or at risk page
  5. if a member of your team is living in the same household as somebody who is in the high risk category shielding, undertake a COVID-19 risk assessment
  6. if a member of your team is displaying symptoms of anxiety, depression or stress, undertake a stress risk assessment
  7. if work activity has changed as a result of different ways of working, undertake a general activity risk assessment.

High risk or moderate risk

What should I do if I have a team member who falls into one of these categories?

There’s guidance on gov.je to help individuals establish whether they have underlying health conditions which mean that they fall into one of these two categories. Additionally, those who fall into the high-risk category will have received a letter from their GP, advising them to shield at home.

If a member of your team falls into the high-risk category, they should continue to shield themselves at home and not attend work.  If the nature of their role allows them to work from home, then you should ask them to do so. If it isn’t possible for them to work from home, then they’ll be entitled to receive their normal basic pay. Line managers must report all absences from work, or unavailability to work, on MyView. Find out how to use MyView for Government employees.

If a member of your team falls into the moderate risk category, they’re advised to follow general public health measures, being particularly careful to do so, especially when outside the home. If the nature of their role allows them to work from home, then they should do so. If there’s a need for them to attend work, then you should carry out a risk assessment to establish that they can do so safety. Your team member may also choose to take medical advice to help inform this decision and share it with you. They may also have requested a letter from their GP to confirm that they have an underlying medical condition.


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