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Guidance for businesses and employees

For all businesses that have not been mandated to close, employers must continue to take every possible step to facilitate their employees working from home, including providing suitable IT and equipment to enable remote working.

Example businesses/services:

  • Banking
  • Corporate Service Providers
  • e-Gaming
  • Information and Communication Technology
  • Insurance
  • Legal and Accounting
  • Other Financial and Professional Services

Businesses, particularly those which are office-based, must continue to enable staff to work from home, wherever possible.  

A phased return may be introduced from Monday 25 May, based on risk assessments that demonstrate an employer’s ability to provide a safe place to work.  

Regulations will be adjusted to enable companies to investigate how this may be done, and to allow staff access to premises to put measures in place.  

Draft guidance is now available. 

See: Draft Return to Work Guidance for Offices

See: Draft Stay Safe at Work Poster

See: Offices Risk Assessment Template

See: Staying COVID-19 secure in 2020

If your employer considers that you may return to work, you may do so provided you are well, not experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and neither you, nor any of your household is self-isolating.

If you are considered a vulnerable person (by virtue of age, underlying health condition or pregnancy), or you live with someone who is vulnerable, you should continue to work from home if at all possible and you should discuss with your employer a suitable arrangement for a safe return to the work place taking into account your situation.

Employees, visitors or contractors must not enter the premises if experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Employees must report their absence to their Line Manager or Human Resources so records can be maintained.

If you have concerns about the arrangements your employer is able to put in place to protect you, you should discuss with your manager in the first instance, or the Occupational Health Service (if your employer provides one).

You may also benefit from advice from one of the following organisations:

  • DEFA’s Health and Safety at Work Inspectorate – email:
  • Manx Industrial Relations Service (MIRS). MIRS can help both employers and employees and can provide practical and impartial advice on any employment matter. Tel: 672942 and email:

Employers who need to have people in their offices or onsite must:

  • Minimise all face to face meetings and gatherings, continuing to use remote meeting facilities wherever possible
  • Consider restricting all non-essential visitors and contact with the public, if this is not possible, you may wish to consider the use of PPE/masks
  • Exercise social distancing at all times - workers should remain at least 2 metres apart from the public and each other
  • Ensure that employees wash their hands with soap and water often for at least 20 seconds (or using hand sanitiser gel if soap and water is not available)
  • Ensure clear welfare facilities are in place to support enhanced hygiene regimes, providing additional hand washing facilities, and maintaining social distancing during meals/breaks
  • Provide clear guidance for employees including social distancing guidelines
  • Protect vulnerable workers by limiting or managing their return
  • Communicate policies for situations in which an employee becomes unwell with COVID-19 symptoms on site
  • Ensure employees travel to and from work separately wherever possible to maintain social distancing
  • Restrict contact with members of the public at all times – putting measures in place to navigate the workplace independently and carry out required engagement remotely

Example businesses/services:

  • Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
  • Engineering
  • Key Government Workers
  • Key public services and frontline support
  • General and Food & Drink Manufacturing
  • Mining & Quarrying
  • Transport and Communications
  • Utilities
  • Wholesale Distribution

Back to work guidance: Construction/trade/related gardening

On Thursday 26 March 2020 at 11.59 pm, the construction sector, along with various trades and horticulture businesses were ordered to cease all except emergency operations by the Isle of Man Government.

The Government has now reviewed this position, using a risk-based approach and informed by medical advice. On that basis, the Government will allow construction, certain trades, and horticulture operators to resume operations, providing they abide by strict social distancing guidelines.

The utmost priority is always the safety and wellbeing of employees and their families. The measures outlined below follow the guidance of Public Health in line with reducing the spread of COVID-19.

By adopting a sensible approach and taking appropriate precautions, the Island’s business operations (as identified below) can continue at the same time as ensuring that we are protecting the health and wellbeing of staff, suppliers and other stakeholders.

Sectors and activities which can be resumed as of 6am Friday 24 April:

  • Any construction business
  • Any business of a tradesperson, including and not limited to plumbers, carpet fitters, electricians, carpenters, heating, gas or air condition engineers; roofers and general builders; IT and telecoms engineers
  • Any business of landscaping, gardening or related activity.

If an activity cannot be undertaken safely due to a lack of suitably qualified personnel being available or social distancing being implemented, it should not take place.