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Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 151626, tabled on 9 February 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether it is her Department's policy that workplaces that remain open during the covid-19 lockdown announced in January 2021 must provide their staff with access to disinfectant products that are tested to the EN 14476 standard for virucidal efficacy.

This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.

Answered on

3 March 2021

As each is workplace is different, it is for an employer to identify, as part of their risk assessment, how to control COVID-19 transmission. Guidance has been produced by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Public Health England (PHE) and the Health and Safety Executive that gives advice and information to employers on how to do such an assessment and make the workplace COVID-secure.

Frequent surface cleaning is one of several control measures that can be implemented to manage the transmission risk. Guidance from PHE and BEIS advises the use of standard cleaning products for frequently touched surfaces to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Whilst we do not specify particular products, those that have been tested to the EN 14476 standard will be effective against viruses.

HSE’s evidence is that more than 90% of the businesses checked have the right precautions in place or are willing to make necessary changes promptly and without the need for enforcement notices. HSE will continue to take enforcement action where appropriate, but the best use of its time and resource to ensure employers take the right action promptly is often to educate, persuade or require matters to be put right immediately.

Named day
Named day questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.