Will face masks become mandatory in the office?

Face mask
By Anthony Wolny | 3rd September 2020 | 8 min read

Following September 1, face masks are now mandatory within all offices and factories in France.

This enforcement is due to the surge in coronavirus cases France is currently experiencing.

As a number of cities across the UK are also seeing coronavirus spikes and local lockdowns, many HR professionals are wondering – will we follow suit?

The latest news from the UK Government

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that there are currently no plans to enforce face masks within the workplace in the near future.

He stated: “We constantly look at scientific advice and the answer here is that we are not currently considering doing that. The evidence from NHS Test and Trace for where people catch the disease is that, very largely, they catch it from one household meeting another household, usually in one of their homes. The amount of people who have caught it in the workplace is relatively low, we think, from the evidence we’ve got.”

However, it seems that this decision could be overruled if we look at the education sector as an example.

Initially, Boris Johnson ruled out the possibility of pupils in England being required to wear face masks.

But in what the media has labelled a U-turn, the Government has now said that secondary school children are required to wear face masks in communal areas if they’re impacted by a local lockdown.

What does this mean for organisations?

The turnaround in the education sector does suggest that face masks within the workplace could still be a possibility in the near future.

As many struggle with the decision of whether they should reopen their workplace or continue working remotely, we suggest you prepare and optimise your HR processes no matter your stance.

How can IRIS help?

If you decide to reopen your office and face masks do become mandatory within the workplace, you must be able to communicate that change quickly and effectively with your employees.

Our solution, IRIS Engage, offers a platform that enables you to easily communicate with all your employees no matter where they are.

For more information on how IRIS Engage can help you communicate changes with your workforce, click here.

To meet the demand of COVID-19, you also need a flexible HR solution that can help your employees thrive.

Click here to get a free trial of our software, IRIS HR Professional, and discover how you can revolutionise your HR processes.