The safe re-opening of small and micro businesses following the coronavirus pandemic is being supported by new guidance from the Scottish Government.
The publication provides practical advice for employers on the steps they need to take before and after re-opening.
Key measures include:
- risk assessments to protect the safety of employers, staff and customers
- provision for employees to work from home where appropriate
- consultation with employees, trades unions or employee representatives before re-opening
- infection and control measures such as physical distancing and good hygiene
- staggered break and start times to reduce contact between employees
Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “The importance of small and micro businesses to our economy cannot be overstated. Over 98 per cent of all businesses in Scotland have less than 50 employees so it is critically important that they can re-open as soon as it is safe to do so.
“This guidance, developed in partnership with employers and trades unions, provides the information small and micro businesses need to ensure the safety of staff and customers as they re-open.
“And we are providing grant support worth over £1 billion to businesses as part of a wider support package worth over £2.3 billion and we will continue to do all we can to support this vital sector.”
Andrew McRae, the Federation of Small Businesses’ Scotland Policy Chair, said:
“It’s in everyone’s interests to get as many small businesses as possible back up and running as quickly as is safe.
“But to do so, small businesses need to make a lot of changes to how they work – often involving lots of complex, changing information.
“That’s why we asked the Scottish Government to help them cut through the mountain of information by providing some clear steps to follow. This is particularly important for all the smallest businesses who don’t fit neatly into a specific sector – the dog groomer, say, or the portrait photographer.
“For businesses that aren’t sure where to start, this guide will help, as it sets out the key steps they should take across four key areas, as well as providing links to other support and advice.”