More than half of employees in the UK will only allow staff to return to the office if they have received a Covid-19 vaccination, a new study shows.

The survey, conducted by Cignpost Express Test, also found that a further 48% intend to carry out regular Covid testing on their workforce.

However, worryingly with the easing of restrictions on the horizon, just 27% of employers are confident in how their staff will return to the office safely. Only half (54%) of businesses have formulated a plan to return to the office, with the highest proportion in London (72%) and lowest in the east of England (38%).

Two-thirds of the employers surveyed said they believe it is their responsibility to organise regular testing to ensure their staff are kept safe when returning to work. However, four in ten do not have a full understanding of the different Covid tests available.

Of the organisations planning to bring their workforce back to the office, concerns over mental health and loneliness of staff (48%) and profitability (47%) are the biggest drivers in the desire to return to offices and other workplaces.

Nick Markham, co-founder of Cignpost Express Test, said:

“With the end of lockdown restrictions on the horizon, this research shows that many businesses are confused about how to return their employees to the office quickly and safely. It is clear that every business needs a step-by-step Covid safety plan to help them return their staff to working normally in offices again.”