Further details can be found on the government website.
The government have issued general advice on social distancing measures for the workplace. There is very specific advice for the following sectors:
Full details can be found on the government website.
Employees who fall into the ‘vulnerable’ category as below:
The above are strongly advised to work from home, but if this isn’t an option then you should consider whether you require them in the workplace, as it could amount to a breach of duty of care and a claim for constructive dismissal and or discrimination.
Note: They would not be entitled to SSP unless they show symptoms of COVID-19 or they are sharing a house with someone who is symptomatic. The alternative is to pay the employee in full or to place them on furlough.
If an employee presents COVID-19 symptoms while at work, you can inform your employees that there is a risk due to an employee having symptoms but you cannot disclose to your employees any details of the individual, this means you can neither confirm nor deny if questioned. You have a duty of care to all employees to uphold.
For further details on SSP please refer to COVID-19 SSP
The explanatory memorandum to Coronavirus amendment, no 3 regulations 2020 state that SSP is intended as a safety net for individuals, in cases where their employer chooses not to furlough them under the COVID-19 Job Retention scheme and does not have other suitable policies in place, i.e work from home etc. These regulations came into force on 16 April 2020 and cannot be retrospectively applied.
If the employee is not displaying any symptoms of COVID-19 but has:
You are able to send them home to self-isolate.
You could ask the employee to work from home if possible. If they can, then you should continue to pay them full pay and benefits etc. If they are unable to work from home, then firstly check their employment contract to see whether there is an express obligation for you to provide work. If not, you can require them to stay at home.
There has been a change to the law, that now enables employees to carry over 4 weeks of leave where it was not reasonably practicable to take the leave in the corresponding year as a direct result of the effects of COVID-19.
ACAS suggests this could be due to:
The employee will then have two years immediately following the leave year to take the accrued annual holiday.
An employer will not be able to refuse an annual leave request from workers who have carried leave forward under the new rules unless they have a ‘good reason’ to do so.
If an employee is self-isolating when they should be on annual leave, then they should be able to reschedule their leave if they wish to do so.
If you are unsure about what to do with any of the above information, please seek advice and support from a professional HR Consultant or legal professional. Whether you would like support with your business during COVID-19 or you would like support in other areas, our HR Consultants are here to help you get it right, so get in touch.