PRH to require masks in US offices but UK policy differs

PRH to require masks in US offices but UK policy differs

Penguin Random House will require staff to wear masks “at all times and in all areas, including inside offices,” in the US, but the firm's UK employees will follow a different policy.

A letter sent to US employees on 25th August said the publisher had been "monitoring developments related to Covid-19 and the Delta variant" and, while most offices will reopen to vaccinated employees who would like to use them from 13th September, it would require mask wearing for everyone who comes into the office "based on CDC guidelines". 

It continued: "The safety of all of you remains our top priority and for now, being masked indoors is the accepted standard in areas of substantial or high transmission. We will, as always, continue to monitor and assess the situation."

However, this is not the case in the UK where a spokesperson said staff are currently only required to wear masks when moving around, but not when sitting at their desk, in a meeting room or in the cafe. 

During the pandemic the UK team has had a different approach to colleagues on the other side of the Atlantic. Last month the UK team ruled out a requirement for staff to be vaccinated before they return to the office, something the US side has mandated.

In the UK, PRH is exploring a "hybrid model" of working in the future. It began re-opening offices on 19th July, but said attendance was voluntary. The publisher said it was undertaking a phased approach based on 50% occupancy initially, to maintain the safety of employees. It has not yet outlined any requirements in terms of working location or number of days in the office.