Working from home - Current Government guidance around the UK

Morton Fraser_Innes Clark
Innes Clark
15 July 2021

A brief summary of what the rules on returning to the workplace are wherever you are in the UK. We will keep this article updated as matters progress.

As restrictions ease at different rates across the home nations it can be difficult to keep track of what the rules on returning to work are in each country.  Set out below is a summary of the position in the week commencing 19 July.    


On 9 August Scotland moved to "beyond level 0". Despite this, the Scottish Government advice is still to work from home where possible albeit recognising that some staff will start to return to offices "in line with staff wellbeing discussions and business need". The Scottish Government also encouraged employers to consider, for the longer term, a hybrid model of home and office working. Scottish Government guidance on returning to the office is available here


England moved to Step 4 of the roadmap out of lockdown on 19 July.  That means most restrictions, including the work from home where possible guidance, has been lifted.  However, ministers are encouraging a gradual return to the workplace.  The Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance has been updated to reflect these changes.


Wales moved to alert Level 1 with effect from 17 July, with hopes of lifting most covid restrictions with effect from 7 August.  However even after 7 August people will continue to be asked to work from home where possible.  Current guidance says people who are not able to work from home, but are able to work safely in their workplaces can do so as long as the workplace is permitted to be open.  Guidance from the Welsh Government is available here.

Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland employers are currently required to make every effort to help people work from home where they can, with the executive urging "work from home and stay at home".  Where work cannot be done at home employers must take clear, practical steps to protect workers and create safe places to work.  Guidance for employers is available here.  The work from home message is due to be reviewed at an executive meeting on 12 August.

Health and Safety Executive - keeping workplaces safe as restrictions are eased

The latest information on any changes related to workplace safety during the pandemic as restrictions ease can be found on the Health and Safety Executive website.  The page - which can be found here - also provides details of advice from public health bodies and other government departments on requirements that aren’t enforced by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), and with links to their guidance.


The content of this webpage is for information only and is not intended to be construed as legal advice and should not be treated as a substitute for specific advice. Morton Fraser LLP accepts no responsibility for the content of any third party website to which this webpage refers.  Morton Fraser LLP is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.