SHIPYARD workers are set to return to work this week, bosses have confirmed.

An announcement sent out to BAE Systems employees yesterday said staggered start times would be introduced.

Bosses said they have identified the ‘essential personnel’ required to continue work on the Astute and Dreadnought submarine programmes.

Staff were told: “We understand you will have concerns about returning to work but we’d like to reassure you that we are taking all necessary precautions to protect your health and safety.

“Following guidance, we are now reconfiguring areas of our site and introducing new protocols and revised ways of working in line with the government’s social distancing guidelines.

“To ensure we have the appropriate safeguards in place, and that we are minimising the risks to employees, we will introduce enhanced PPE across key build activities.

“We’ll also reduce the number of employees in office environments, re-allocate hand sanitisers to increase the number available in those areas where essential personnel will be working and continue to clean facilities to the appropriate standards.

“Staggered breaks will be introduced to minimise the number of people in mess facilities. Inbetween breaks these areas will be thoroughly cleaned. Please do not return to work until you are requested to do so.”

Union representatives are understood to be in contact with shipyard bosses to represent workers’ views about the announcement.