An employee returns to the office, after months in isolation; within a week, they contract Covid-19. They report their illness to their employer, who in turn complains to the landlord. The employee is convinced they contracted the virus in the lobby area of the building.
Despite the landlord's best efforts to implement social distancing in common areas, the tiny lobby is always packed with people – some trying to sign in at the reception desk, some queuing for the lifts.
The employee drives to the office every day and only a fraction of their team has returned to the workplace, which makes maintaining social distancing relatively easy. They assume they must have caught the virus in the lobby area.
If the employee's instincts are correct, how liable is the landlord? Are landlords currently doing enough to mitigate the risk of the virus spreading within their buildings and if not, what measures should they and employers take to ensure people can safely return to the workplace?
Kizzy Augustin appears in Property Week discussing how liable are landlords for Covid-19 workplace risks?
How liable are landlords for Covid-19 workplace risks? is available to read on the Property Week website.
Kizzy is a partner in the fraud and criminal litigation team, specialising in health and safety. Kizzy is a solicitor advocate with Higher Rights of Audience. She appears regularly as an advocate in court proceedings, employment tribunals (for appealing Improvement and Prohibition notices) and Coroners' inquests.