Economic recovery post-COVID-19

The Adecco Group, Randstad NV and ManpowerGroup launch guidance for a safe return to work

  • The UK and Ireland Safely Back to Work guide is the result of a global alliance between the Adecco Group, Randstad NV and ManpowerGroup, to get people safely back to work when the time is right
  • It provides practical advice on combating the unprecedented workplace challenge resulting from COVID-19
  • Research by the Adecco Group reveals that the majority of UK businesses have begun preparing for the end of the lockdown

London, UK, 13 May 2020The Adecco Group, Randstad NV and ManpowerGroup, industry leaders in the global human resources sector, have today launched the UK and Ireland Safely Back to Work guide. It aims to encourage a safe return to work following the lockdown imposed to tackle COVID-19, which is impacting nearly 2.7 billion workers worldwide, approximately 81% of the global workforce.

The guide shares an overview of collected measures and best practice health and safety protocols, that can be used to support a safe return to workplaces throughout the UK and Ireland.

Research[i] conducted by the Adecco Group, of 251 UK HR decision makers, revealed that an encouraging 71% of UK businesses have already begun preparing for the end of lockdown. However, only 57% of those businesses have started putting a plan of action in place, and just 45% have already been implementing specific steps.

The UK and Ireland Safely Back to Work guide highlights COVID-19 protocols across five sectors, including: Transport & Logistics, Automotive, Manufacturing & Life Science, Construction and Food.

Some recommendations include:

  • Doors to remain open where possible, to limit the need to touch door frames, handles, push buttons etc.
  • Cleaners should update a ‘confirmation of cleaning’ list in a prominent location upon completion of cleaning
  • Good supply of handwipes throughout the workplace
  • Staggered start and finish times to help enforce social distancing

Alex Fleming, President and Country Head, the Adecco Group UK and Ireland, commented: “Getting people back to work safely, securely and when the time is right is our ultimate end goal. These unparalleled times have completely transformed the labour market as we once knew it, so new approaches to creating safe workplaces are integral. This global alliance has been created to help lead the way in reshaping the working landscape for the better, and all businesses now need to take cohesive action to ensure both employers and employees can overcome this challenge and continue to grow, develop and thrive.”

Michael Smith, Managing Director, RSR EMEA & CEO, Randstad UK, said: “I was inspired by Jacques Van Den Broek’s [Randstad’s Global CEO] ambitious idea to partner the three largest recruiters in the world with a view to helping all industries get back to work as safely and as quickly as possible. These are strange times and demand new approaches and the alliance of Randstad, the Adecco Group and ManpowerGroup is proving to be an important one for British and Irish business, leading the charge to creating safer workplace environments for us all, as we look for new ways to flourish amidst this crisis. The onus now is on all of us to play our part in this generation’s greatest ever workplace challenge”.

Mark Cahill, Managing Director, ManpowerGroup UK and Ireland, said: “We are in the throes of reimagining a new future of work.  The restart will vary by country and industry, and what we know for sure is that everyone will be impacted by the virus.  It was clear that we needed to collaborate with other market leaders on this allied approach. By coming together with the Adecco Group and Randstad, we are putting our people first. We will need to acclimatise gradually to a new working environment, but above all we must maintain unity which is why partnership is so fundamental. Together, we’re embracing business as ‘unusual’ and reshaping the future to create a blueprint that works for everyone – more digital, more connected, more wellbeing-oriented than we ever could have previously imagined.

The UK and Ireland report was developed in consultation with the Government, key industry bodies and employers. The complete version can be found here.

The Adecco Group 

The Adecco Group UK and Ireland and its brands are part of the Adecco Group, the world’s leading HR solutions company. We believe in making the future work for everyone, and every day enable more than 3.5 million careers.

We skill, develop, and hire talent in 60 countries, enabling organisations to embrace the future of work. As a Fortune Global 500 company, we lead by example, creating shared value that fuels economies and builds better societies.  

Our culture of inclusivity, entrepreneurship and teamwork empowers our 34,000 employees, who voted us number 11 on the Great Place to Work® – World’s Best Workplaces 2019 list.  

The Adecco Group AG is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland (ISIN: CH0012138605) and listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (ADEN) and powered by nine global lead brands: Adecco, Adia, Badenoch + Clark, General Assembly, Lee Hecht Harrison, Modis, Pontoon, Spring Professional and Vettery.  

The Adecco Group UK and Ireland head office is located in London, UK. We have nine brands, including the Adecco Group UK and Ireland, Adecco, Ajilon, Badenoch + Clark, Modis, Office Angels, Penna, Pontoon and Spring. 

Randstad NV

Randstad is the Dutch multinational active since 1960 in the research, selection, training of Human Resources and job administration. Its mission is helping people and organisations to realise their real potential, thanks to the human touch that distinguishes it combined with the use and offer of technological solutions. This is what “Human Forward” means to Randstad.

Present in 38 countries with 4,861 offices and 38,820 employees for a total 2019 turnover of €23.7 billion, Randstad is the world’s leading HR services company. In 2019, it helped over two million applicants to find a job thanks to its 280,000 customers. Randstad NV is based in Diemen and is listed on NYSE Euronext. For more information:


ManpowerGroup® (NYSE: MAN), the leading global workforce solutions company, helps organisations transform in a fast-changing world of work by sourcing, assessing, developing and managing the talent that enables them to win. We develop innovative solutions for hundreds of thousands of organisations every year, providing them with skilled talent while finding meaningful, sustainable employment for millions of people across a wide range of industries and skills. Our expert family of brands – Manpower®, Experis®, Right Management® and ManpowerGroup® Solutions – creates substantially more value for candidates and clients across 80 countries and territories and has done so for over 70 years. In 2019, ManpowerGroup was named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies for the tenth year and one of Fortune’s Most Admired Companies for the seventeenth year, confirming our position as the most trusted and admired brand in the industry. See how ManpowerGroup is powering the future of work:

[i] Research conducted by Opinion Matters, between 28 / 04 / 2020 – 04 / 05/ 2020, on 251 UK HR decision makers