UnitedCity, a campaigning and research group of Manchester business leaders with plans to drive forward the economic recovery of Greater Manchester, has launched a free Back to Work helpline to get businesses COVID-secure and to support employers and employees who are not reasonably able to work effectively from home.

The helpline is provided by BrightSafe, the health & safety arm of Manchester-based HR software and employment law advice firm BrightHR, and will give UnitedCity members exclusive access to health & safety experts, who will advise on all the actions and procedures that businesses need to put in place to make their workplaces COVID-safe.

Transport for Greater Manchester is supporting the helpline and is working with United City to offer travel advice as part of the returning to work safely campaign. Businesses will be able to arrange a bespoke travel planning session with a TfGM travel advisers or book onto a free online surgery to ask questions about how staff can get to and from work, how customers visit businesses and how you receive or make deliveries, as well as much more. Slots can also be booked here.

In addition to this, UnitedCity members will also soon have access to BrightHR’s free online vaccine tracker, VaccTrak Lite by BrightHR. The innovate software tool helps employers get their people back to work safely by educating their workforce on the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccination, and by providing employers with a clear record of which employees have had the vaccine and who is still waiting.

Alan Price, CEO of BrightHR, said:

“With the continuing success of the UK vaccine rollout and the announcement of the roadmap out of lockdown, business owners can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, and are looking forward to the return to normality, both socially and in the workplace.

“While the past year has shown that working from home can be done, it has also become clear that it is not sustainable as a full-time solution for all businesses. Remote working has taken its toll on people’s mental wellbeing and has, at times, stifled in-person collaboration and career development. We all know of individuals with wellbeing or technical challenges at home, and the Back to Work helpline, provided by BrightSafe, will support employers in responding to these challenges.

“We are delighted to be working with UnitedCity to provide an essential service to their members that will ensure businesses in Manchester return back to their offices and workplaces in the safest way possible, and ultimately help this fantastic city recover from the pandemic stronger and better for all.”

A spokesperson for UnitedCity said: “BrightSafe and BrightHR’s work will be absolutely pivotal in helping us to get Manchester back on its feet, and we’re very grateful to the team for providing this brilliant platform in support of UnitedCity.

“The pandemic has changed working life as we know it and adapting to ‘the new normal’ will be a particular struggle for businesses which have adhered to the working from home guidance since last March. We have no doubt this tool, as well as VaccTrack, will be of the utmost importance to our business community as we look to collectively achieve a safe recovery.”

Kate Brown, Director of Corporate Affairs at Transport for Greater Manchester, said: “The last 12 months have been extremely challenging for people and businesses across Greater Manchester and transport has an important role to play as lockdown is eased.

“Over the coming months we will be working hard to support people, businesses and employers as they start to travel again in line with the government’s roadmap to recovery and ensure they are able to do so safely and sustainably.”

The freephone number will be live from Monday 15th March and be operational Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm. Please find freephone numbers below:

  • 08007830321
  • 08448920253
Lisa Baker

Author Lisa Baker

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