Friday's big change | Is HR ready for masks?

Is HR ready for masks?

From Friday, face masks will become compulsory in a variety of businesses, including all retail spaces and food and drink outlets, when collecting items for takeaway.

Obviously, this doesn’t just impact customers but staff too – with HR and operations leads likely scrambling to find out if their employees need to don a face covering to work.

However, under the new guidelines, it is only customers that will be required to wear masks with staff coverage 'recommended', but not mandatory.

And staff can even call the police to fine non-mask wearers £100.


With such a big change for customer-facing businesses, there will be questions regarding offices.

However, the latest guidance for office workers, if they are even back in a central place of work, is to not have to wear face coverings.

Health secretary Matt Hancock recently told Sky News that the Government has no plans to make people wear face coverings in offices. 

However, he also told Newsreader and Presenter Kay Burley: “One of the things we’ve learned about this virus is that there is more asymptomatic transmission than anybody initially believed; there have also been developments in understanding the spread.

“On masks, it’s a balanced decision, but there is a benefit of having a mask, especially a benefit to other people. If you are an asymptomatic carrier of the virus, it’s now clear you can transmit it.”

With the Government advice regards office work changing and with the Government now encouraging employers to make a decision about returning to the office, some experts believe that making mask-wearing compulsory could speed up the return to work.


There is a long list of exemptions for those not wearing a face mask – as well as employees.

For those with physical and mental disabilities, mask-wearing will not be required.

Children under the age of 11, emergency service employees and officials are also exempt.

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