Travel to and from work

Managers must ensure that travel to and from work is minimised and the availability of safe public transport where an employee does not have access to a car should be taken into account in any decisions relating to an employee’s to return to the workplace.

Managers must be mindful that many employees are likely to have legitimate concerns about using public transport, especially as government advice says to avoid it. It is therefore essential that there is a legitimate business need for the employee to physically attend work where they have no other means of getting there i.e. by car.

Where an employee is concerned about travelling to and from work, especially if they are vulnerable, have underlying mental health issues or have a disability, managers must discuss those concerns and consider options to accommodate their requests as far as reasonably practical.

If someone cannot work from home and has to travel to work, they should cycle or walk wherever possible in line with Government guidance. To accommodate this managers should consider whether an employee who is physically required to attend work can attend a location closer to home.  

Employees that rely on public transport to get to and from work (i.e. no bike or car) may feel anxious about using it and therefore again managers should consider whether they can work at a location that they could walk to.

Managers should also consider staggering start and finish times to reduce the number of employees using public transport at peak times. This will also help those employees that are anxious about being able to maintain social distancing from other commuters.  

The availability of public transport also needs to be considered as most of these are still running a reduced service and this will need to be considered by managers when discussing an employee’s return to work. Again flexibility in start and finish times will need to be considered to accommodate transport availability.

Workers using public transport may find it helpful to refer to the Government’s guidance at www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers.

If employees are travelling to and from work by car, managers must advise employees that they must not car-share with anyone outside their household. Managers must also ensure that start and finish times of those travelling by car are agreed in advance so as to avoid too many employees arriving/leaving work at the one time and that the car parking allows for adequate social distancing measures to be adhered to.

Updated on 3rd June 2020

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