Insurers have clarified their positions the issue of mask wearing in the office.
Today many remaining Covid precautions are being lifted in England – including the legal obligation to wear a face covering.
Ahead of the changes, Health & Protection spoke to a number of insurers and found that some were considering encouraging employees to wear face masks even after the legal obligation to do was removed.
But others were keeping a watchful eye on government’s final announcements ahead of defining their approach to mask wearing in the office.
These insurers included Zurich and Canada Life.
Providing an update on their approach, a spokesperson told Health & Protection that Zurich will follow government guidance on the matter.
“We will be following government guidance for offices which encourages ‘the use of face coverings by workers, particularly in indoor areas where they may come into contact with people they do not normally meet. This is particularly important in enclosed and crowded spaces’,” the spokesperson said.
“Our interpretation of government advice is that we do not expect or mandate people to wear a face covering while at their desk or moving around the office.
“Though we’re encouraging people to make sensible decisions and take personal accountability for wearing face coverings in areas if they are crowded.”
A spokesperson for Canada Life told Health & Protection it is currently finalising its position on mask wearing.
However its current policy is similar to that of Zurich and remains in place, with staff expected to wear masks only when not seated at a desk or in a meeting.
And a spokesperson for Holloway Friendly revealed it is asking staff to wear a mask when they move around the office and it is keeping glass screens around work stations in place.
“We’re also continuing to encourage good hygiene such as wiping meeting room tables and chairs with anti-bacterial wipes when meetings have finished, washing and sanitising hands on a regular basis, as well as putting maximum occupancy levels on meeting rooms and communal areas like our kitchens.
“We have also asked colleagues to consider a phased return to work which suits them and the Society. Our new agile working policy also starts today so we are not expecting the office to be at full capacity, as many of our colleagues have requested to work form home at least 2 or 3 days a week. This agile approach means there will be less people in the office at any one time which will also help reduce any possible transmission of Covid.”