Posted: Mon 6th Apr 2020

New workplace social distancing law brought in due to reports people were not feeling safe in the workplace

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First Minister Mark Drakeford has pointed out a change in the law has taken place as some employers were not playing their part to protect their staff.

In today’s regular coronavirus update briefing First Minister was asked about the new legislation that comes into force tomorrow morning surrounding 2 metre separation in the workplace, how enforceable such a law is and how will it be adapted for certain job such as personal care.

The First Minister said, “To be clear, the regulations say it’s an obligation on employers to take all reasonable measures. So it’s not an absolute ban on people not being able to be within two meters of one another.

“In the health service, for example, a dentist carrying out treatment on you isn’t two meters away from you. But, they’re only close to you when they need to be close to you, and they’re away from you when they don’t need to be close to you. So the measures are there to reinforce the message that is already the one we’ve been giving for the last two weeks, it is nothing new when the message is about saying to employers that you must take all reasonable measures to ensure that the safety and health of your workforce comes first.



“We’ll be providing guidance to companies on all of this later today.”

“The enforcement of it, in many ways, it’ll be self enforcing, the best enforcers of this are workers themselves. Part of the reason why we took the decision was because we were getting too many reports individually as assembly members, from the trade unions as well, of people feeling that they weren’t safe in the workplace and everything that needed to be done was not being done.

“This sends that message to people in the workplace that we expect it to be this way, but we expect it to be done reasonably as well.”

You can view today’s brief & question and answer session in full on the video below:



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