Positive News: How businesses are helping employees back into work

HR up and down the country is reintroducing employees back to their workplaces- either physically or a return from furlough. We highlight just a few of the many brilliant initiatives HR is undertaking to make the process as seamless as possible.


The National Business Response Network

Business in the Community has founded the National Business Response Network has been founded to help organisations struggling to recover from the impact of the pandemic. Supported by funding from the London Stock Exchange Group, AXA and other organisations, the network creates partnerships in which employees contribute their skills to support local communities, small businesses, peoples’ access to food and technology.

Return to work


Cyber-security company Kaspersky has taken a three-pronged approach to give employees the emotional support they need to return to work. Firstly, it assesses how safe it is for people to return to work and what transport they will use.

Second, it recognises that if schools and nurseries remain closed and people still need to take care of their children, remote work will be the best option for them – the same also applies for employees who have become carers for other people.

And final, it takes into account employees’ overall state of health: if they are not feeling well, or if they or their family members are in the high-risk group, it is important for them to stay at home.

Kaspersky chief human resources officer Marina Alekseeva commented: "These past few months of remote working have made us more human and kinder towards each other […] This connection we now have will help us in the coming months as we will be going back step by step to our new reality."

Make UK

Manufacturers’ organisation Make UK has developed a new training and support package to help businesses bring their employees back to work post-COVID-19.

Businesses from a wide range of sectors can access tools and advice to take fast, effective action and make the right decisions around government initiatives such as the job retention scheme.

It also gives step-by-step guidance on preparing the workplace to enable an increasing number of workers to be back on-site safely.

Nicola Kibble, Make UK’s head of HR and legal commercial services, said: “Making those strategic decisions correctly and in a timely fashion is essential for the continued success of companies as they come out of this crisis and look to get back to normal production.”

Mental health and wellbeing

Cigna Europe

Recognising higher levels of loneliness, anxiety and stress in employees due to the pandemic, health insurance provider Cigna has introduced a “Check-In” initiative. Run internally and as a social media campaign the initiative encourages employees and other employers to check-in on others to see how they are.

“By checking in on each other we can work together to ensure that no one suffers in silence with mental health or other concerns during this pandemic,” said Robin Lewis, senior HR director, Cigna Europe. “We’re all facing difficult emotions and pressures unique to our individual circumstances at the moment, and it’s imperative that we are mindful of the challenges our employees may be facing, both at home and in the workplace”

RMBF and Rightsteps

An online wellbeing resource for medics and specialities has been launched by doctors’ charity the Royal Medical Benevolent Fund (RMBF) and employee wellbeing specialists Rightsteps.

It offers advice and information to support mental health, wellbeing and physical health, at a time when the medical profession faces heightened stress and pressure due to coronavirus.

Doctors, medical students and their families will all be able to benefit from the structured online sessions, with more in-depth Wellbeing Sessions solely available to doctors.

Evgenia Stefanopoulou, clinical psychologist at Rightsteps, said: “We are excited to be able to offer such a range of resources to a workforce that are having to deal with so much additional pressure in an already demanding job.”

The full piece of the above appears in the July/August 2020 print issue. Subscribe today to have all our latest articles delivered right to your desk.