Won’t social distancing be compromised?

Friday June 19 2020


By Caroline Mboijana

How do companies plan to protect workers after lockdown has been fully lifted since there’s no vaccine yet? I am worried about the rate at which Uganda’s number of infection cases is going up yet I see people not keeping social distance on streets and along the Northern Bypass. With lockdown partially lifted, some of the measures like social distancing are likely to compromised even in the workplace. How will employers ensure this and other guidelines are not flouted? Nelson

Dear Nelson,
I believe all employers have been given guidelines from the Ministry of Health and International agencies, which define the measures which need to be in place to keep their employees safe, as we return to work.
I can not speak to what companies will do however, I’m confident employers will endeavour and are committed to following the guidelines provided.
We need to appreciate social distancing is the new normal and some employers are still adjusting to the changing the way of work so they are compliant with the guidelines.
It is in everyone’s best interest to follow the guidelines. There is an element of responsibility on both the employer and the employee. The employer risks associated with not following the guidelines are too high and includes aspects of finance and reputation.
More importantly is that if the employer does not follow the guidelines, there is a likelihood of the company placing itself in a situation where they can be sued if it is found that employees have contracted Covid in the work place as a result of not following stipulated guidelines.
The development of a vaccine is work in progress and in the meantime, we need to appreciate that business and our lives in the community have to continue.
In this regard, companies have a responsibility to ensure that social distancing measures are in place.

In addition, all employees and individuals must also take responsibility of their own health and safety.
This includes raising the issue of social distancing if it is not set up, ensuring that masks are worn whenever in the workplace and making sure that handwashing is
taking place.
How we manage the pandemic is more than responsibility of jus the employer, it is everyone’s responsibility and all of us have a role to play.

Caroline Mboijana,
Managing Director,
The Leadership Team (U)