17 May 2022

HMRC changes Covid-19 processes

The changes include changes to positive test notifications and risk assessments.

HMRC has made a number of changes to its Covid-19 processes within their buildings. PCS is continuing to engage with the department regarding future HR policy revisions, including those regarding isolation and testing requirements, especially for those undertaking higher risk activities such as visiting officers and those in Inland Pre-Clearance or Inland Border Facilities.

The department’s policy is unchanged for now, and you must continue to isolate if you have Covid symptoms or have had a positive Covid test.

Positive case notifications

From Monday 16 May, building management teams will stop issuing emails advising staff of positive Covid cases. However, managers must continue to report positive cases to their local Estates contact, and positive case details will still be displayed within the Covid-19 Data SharePoint for each building.

Additionally, there’ll be no requirement to isolate desks from use following positive Covid cases, as the cleaning undertaken each evening will be to the same standard as a Covid clean. This means desks should have already been cleaned by the time positive Covid case notifications are received. If you have any concerns with cleaning standards, speak to your local PCS health and safety rep.

Covid-19 risk assessments

Throughout Covid-19 there have been specific risk assessments in place for each building to outline the particular risks and what specific measures were in operation within that building to reduce the potential for workplace exposure to the virus.

Risk assessments are in place for each team, task, and workplace; and Covid-19 risks must be considered and included within every risk assessment.

Work will start shortly to merge the Covid-19 risks into the Occupied Building Risk Assessment (OBRA) for each HMRC workplace. Every building currently has an OBRA; and everyone is encouraged to ensure they know where they can find this risk assessment, that it is accessible at all times, and they understand the control measures in place and the expected standards to follow.