Employers in Wales will be aware, from news reports at least, that Ministers in the Welsh Government have decided to take the lead in the fight against Coronavirus.
They have issued regulations, with effect from 7th April 2020, requiring employers to required to take all reasonable measures to ensure that a distance of 2 metres is maintained on their premises.
This is now law and all employers should read the Guidance: Taking all reasonable measures to maintain physical distancing in the workplace
The 2 meter distancing requirement was already effectively implied under existing H&S legislation, but making it an express requirement has allowed Ministers to enforce this, through fines issued by
- police officers
- police community support officers
- persons designated by local authorities (for example environmental health officers)
- persons designated by the Welsh Ministers
This will certainly encourage employees to be more vocal and there will be many instances where claims of constructive and unfair dismissal and whistleblowing will loom large.
Whether having Welsh Ministers go it alone to take action independent of the UK is helpful, or adds to the confusion at this time, or if this is the best way to proceed, is a matter for public debate.