On 27 September 2020, the Government announced new regulations regarding the requirement for individuals to self-isolate if they have been notified that someone they have been in close contact with has tested positive for Covid-19.
Under the regulations, workers must notify their employers of the need to self-isolate and the expected end date of their isolation period. Where an individual becomes aware of the need to self-isolate other than by means of the NHS Covid-19 app they must also advise the Secretary of State where they will be isolating and the names of those within their household.
The most important element of the regulations for you to be aware of is regulation 7 which makes it an offence for you as the employer to knowingly permit a worker to attend a place other than where they are self-isolating. In practice, this will mean that employers who are aware of an employee’s need to self-isolate must prevent them from attending the workplace. Employers in breach of this obligation face an initial fine of £1,000, increasing to £10,000 for repeat occurrences.
Workers who are unable to work from home for the duration of self-isolation, may be entitled to SSP if they’re self-isolating because:
• Someone in their household has tested positive for Covid-19;
• They have been advised to do so by the NHS or Public Health England;
• Someone in their support bubble has tested positive for Covid-19; or
• They’ve been advised to do so by a doctor or health care professional in advance of a hospital visit or surgery.
We’re advising that all employers review their Covid reporting procedures to ensure staff are aware of the obligation to notify them if someone they live with or someone with whom they have been in close contact tests positive for Covid-19. Employers may also find it helpful to outline what is meant by close contact and the circumstances in which staff may be eligible for SSP.
If you have any questions relating to how the pandemic or the new job support scheme impacts you and your business please contact us.