Coronavirus Update: Employer Obligations when Employees Self Isolate

It really seems to be a time of change, once again. After the update last week, we released a blog covering everything we know so far regarding the new Coronavirus Job Support Scheme and the obligation for employees to be allowed to work from home where possible. Read the blog here. 

Over the weekend Leeds went into a local lockdown. Then last night, further Regulations were published, which came into force at midnight. The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation) (England) Regulations 2020 are complex and are mostly regarding mandatory periods of isolation and a duty to notify the Government of people in the same household, where someone has tested positive for Covid-19.

However, Regulations 7 and 8 especially affect employers:

  • There is now a legal obligation on a worker to tell their employer that they are self-isolating. Failing to do so is a criminal offense.
  • It is now an offense for an employer to knowingly permit any worker to attend any place other than where that person is self-isolating (eg. to permit them to attend work or leave their homes). An employer who fails to do so will be fined, starting at £1,000. This is a much more positive duty; the employer is now responsible for stopping the worker from working unless they can work from home.
  • These restrictions include employees who are required to self-isolate because they live with someone who tests positive.
  • Employees who are required to self-isolate will qualify for sick pay, at least at SSP, and the employer will be reimbursed by the Government for the costs of two weeks coronavirus-related sick pay.

Here at Thrive, as we are majoritively located in Leeds, we are now required to abide by further regulations and limit our contact with people outside of our households. We will therefore be continuing to work from home for the foreseeable future. Although at Thrive we have always supported flexible working and we continue to see the benefits of this was of working. Read the full blog here on the benefits of flexible working for your employees and your business. Coronavirus may have changed the way we operated as a global society forever.

We have also supported our outsourced HR clients with local lockdowns; we have created a policy for employers to disseminate, on employer’s obligations when returning from restricted countries, and on obligations for local lockdowns. This is just one of the many services we provide to our HR clients.

As an owner-run company, we know the pains of having to wear many hats and how time is precious. As qualified employment and HR lawyers, we know the consequences of getting HR decisions wrong. We work with you to let you focus on what you really need to be doing in the business with the peace of mind that all letters and decisions are run past a qualified lawyer before you implement them.

When you partner with Thrive for outsourced HR support, we can reduce your stress and free you up to work on the business and to make HR decisions with confidence.

With people at the core of every successful business, keeping on top of the ever-changing legislation and making the most out of your people can be challenging, but we are here to help.

Get in touch today to invest in your business and make your HR stress free.

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