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However, as government guidance makes clear, working from home remains the first option and those shielding (an estimated 2 million people) should only return to their workplace if they cannot work from home and their workplace is COVID-19 secure.. Risk assessments for those shielding and returning to work … Your employer should help you to transition back to work safely and must take all reasonable measures to minimise exposure to coronavirus by ensuring a 2 metre distance is … Employers must also be mindful of an employee’s right to make protected disclosures, also known as whistleblowing. If your workplace is already open, you'll have already conducted a risk assessment and put in place steps to protect staff and other users from the risks of being exposed to the virus. Please contact customerservices@lexology.com. For more articles relating to the effects of the current pandemic visit the HR Solutions’ dedicated page ‘Coronavirus Advice and Guidance for Employers’. Those who have been shielding are classed as extremely vulnerable due to having very serious health conditions. Shielded employees are protected if their workplace poses a serious and imminent threat to their health. From 1 st August shielding … Therefore, even if you are convinced that your workplace is safe, you should listen to concerns raised and try and agree a way forward. Refusing to come to work when they hold a reasonable belief that by returning poses a serious an imminent threat to their health, could give rise to a successful claim for automatic unfair dismissal connected to health and safety. Understand your clients’ strategies and the most pressing issues they are facing. There’s also extra advice for those at higher risk from coronavirus, which you can choose to follow as well.. You can also find more information for people at higher risk from coronavirus at mygov.scot. There's also emerging evidence that people from certain BAME backgrounds are up to 50% more likely to die if they contract the disease than white British nationals. links to local social work services for vulnerable children or adults; emotional support; contact with local volunteer groups; The helpline is open from 9.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday. ", © Copyright 2006 - 2020 Law Business Research. However, many people will prefer to stay at home and prioritise the health of their loved ones rather than return to work … There was initially some confusion about this, but we now know that you can furlough shielded employees provided they have been furloughed for at least three weeks before the end of June. Northants, NN15 6FD Introducing PRO ComplianceThe essential resource for in-house professionals. Employers need to be mindful that employees have protection under health and safety and employment legislation and so should an employee refuse to return, employers must be careful to not compel anybody to return. In the event of an employee refusing to return to work, or in the event as an employer you are unable to make the appropriate adaptations to make the workplace covid safe, then you may be eligible for the Government’s coronavirus job retention scheme enabling you to furlough them until you can make the workplace covid safe. However, not all roles can operate from home, and in this case, it is about finding workable solutions that will enable the safe return in line with Government advice. Anyone who is currently shielding is likely to be disabled within the meaning of the Equality Act 2010. Employers will need to demonstrate that their workplace is safe and show that they are following Government advice on social distancing and make appropriate physical adaptations to the workplace, role, or hours of work. That means that you must take reasonable steps to avoid the disadvantage. Under the Employment Rights Act, employees are protected from dismissal, selection for redundancy or being made subject to a detriment in connection to having made a protected disclosure. PPN 02/20 had a similar purpose and effect as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) i.e. Free supply of vitamin D. Everyone on the shielding … “Those who have been shielding may return to work from 1 August 2020 as long as the workplace is ‘Covid secure’, and it will be for employers to demonstrate that this is the case,” he said. One Victoria Square London Your employer can still furlough you if you cannot work from home and it would not be safe for you to return … This ultimately means that people who have been shielding may be able to start to return to work subject to them being able to observe strict social distancing. 31 May 2020 Updated guidance in line with changes to the regulations which come into … 5. Find out th…, We would like to use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Calls will cost 10p per minute plus your telephone company’s Access Charge. Midsummer Court This remains the case and so they will remain vulnerable to the virus and should continue to take precautions and be extra vigilant than those who are not. These … Tel: 0844 324 5840, Business HR Solutions (Consultancy) Ltd Where possible, employers should continue to allow employees who have been shielding to work from home. EC2R 6PJ Become your target audience’s go-to resource for today’s hottest topics. Clinically extremely vulnerable … Everyone is currently advised to work from home where possible. NHS staff across Barking, Havering and Redbridge who were taken off the frontline because they were shielding are ecstatic to get back to work after getting the Covid-19 vaccine on the second … MK9 2UB Those who were previously told to follow shielding advice can now return to work as long as the workplace is Covid-secure, but should carry on working from home wherever possible. 3. Before you ask anyone who has been shielding to return to their workplace, you'll need to consider whether it's safe and appropriate for them to do so. B1 1BD It should be noted that the government’s shielding guidance does not require those living with shielded people to also shield, only to follow guidance on social distancing. Explain your approach to the risk assessment process, share your findings, and reassure them that your priority is their safety. Those who have been shielding may return to work from 1 August 2020 as long as the workplace is ‘COVID secure’ and it will be for employers to demonstrate that this is the case. For anyone concerned about returning to work once the guidance has eased, we recommend they speak with their employer to understand their specific policies in relation to COVID-19. The Scottish Government has produced a specific ‘Covid-age’ risk assessment tool and this should be used as the basis for assessment of returning staff after shielding… If you consent to us, Teamtailor Recruitment Applicant Tracking System, ‘Coronavirus Advice and Guidance for Employers’, Interesting Statistics December 2020: National Living Wage, Real Living Wage, National Minimum Wage. In addition, trainers will … For those who are extremely vulnerable and have been shielding, there will be more of a requirement for employers to make adaptations, especially as their condition is likely to be covered by the Equality Act, which places legal requirement on employers to make reasonable adjustments. If you are on the shielding list, you should follow the same advice as everyone else in your protection level. To be protected, the employee must have a 'reasonable belief' that their workplace poses a serious and imminent threat to them, or to others - including members of the public and their own families. Milton Keynes Power up your legal research with modern workflow tools, AI conceptual search and premium content sets that leverage Lexology's archive of 900,000+ articles contributed by the world's leading law firms. Tel: 0844 324 5840, Business HR Solutions (Consultancy) Ltd Get the latest news from HR Solutions delivered to your inbox, Business HR Solutions (Consultancy) Ltd At the moment the government has summarised the changes and we hope more detailed guidance will be published in due course. Mindful of this, the government is asking employers to ease the transition for their clinically extremely vulnerable employees, ensuring that robust measures are put in place for those currently shielding to return to work when they are able to do so. During lockdown, they were advised not to leave their houses for any non medical reason and have only recently been allowed to take outdoor exercise and meet other people. Venture Park, Kettering Receiving it certainly makes my life a lot easier. Business HR Solutions (Consultancy) Ltd The government has said people who have been shielding in England can go back to work if they cannot work from home and their workplace is “Covid-secure”, which includes social … As a result of Covid-19 infection rates significantly decreasing it means that from 1 August shielding will be paused and those who have been shielding can return to the workplace but only if the workplace … Our advice to employers is to engage with your employees early, seek their input and thoughts around how their health can be protected in the workplace, and explore different ways in which either the role, or the hours are operated to ensure it can be achieved whilst following the Government advice. "Lexology/Newsstand is an extremely useful resource. Under sections 44 and 100 of the Employment Rights Act 1996, employees (and possibly the wider group of workers) are protected from being subjected to a detriment (such as being suspended or having their pay deducted) or being dismissed for exercising their right to leave their workplace. protecting the livelihoods of contingent workers, such as agency and IR35 workers and, trying to ensure that those who are sick, should be self-isolating or shielding do not go to work… Currently yes, but from 1 August, those shielding will no longer be deemed incapable of work on that basis for SSP purposes. Health Education England (HEE) have also recently released guidance for shielding trainees, who will benefit from the Supported Return to Training scheme (SuppoRTT). From August 1 in England, they will no longer be required to stay at home and may be asked to return to work. What if an employee cannot work from home but does not want to return to the … The priority in returning will be the risk assessment process as this is key to identifying Covid-19 risks and identifying measures needed to reduce or remove those risks. The Government have updated their advice to those who are shielding due to Covid-19. Will the government update its guidance on shielding? From 1 August 2020, shielding will formally end in England and Northern Ireland, meaning those who have been instructed to avoid the workplace since March will be able to return, provided the … This includes information about work… You may feel relief in being able to go back to a sense of normality and to see people, or you may feel anxious and apprehensive to go outside and into the … As a result of Covid-19 infection rates significantly decreasing it means that from 1 August shielding will be paused and those who have been shielding can return to the workplace but only if the workplace is covid-19 secure. We should bear in mind that the Government still encourages working from home; and so, for those shielding, this is going to be the best option for returning. The press release published by the government on 22 June says this: "We recognise that individuals unable to work from home may feel uncertain about returning to work. December 2020 - News in brief including: changes to early conciliation, five day quarantine under ‘test to release’ scheme and a reducing the age at which workers must be paid the national living wage, Right to work checks post Brexit - don't ask about settled status (yet), Top five employment cases that will shape 2021, Furlough fraud - government clarifies how 'naming and shaming' will work. Returning to the workplace after shielding Employees and workers who are no longer shielding may be able to return to the workplace if it's safe. One option is to move the shielding employee - by agreement - to a role that poses the least risk to them. During Covid-19, we may see an increase in complaints raised by employees in how they feel their employer may not be taking the necessary precautions. If you're unable to work because you work in an area where shielding advice is in place, you may be able to get a shielding note to give to your employer. Staff retuning to work after shielding may have specific needs and concerns about their return to the workplace. 1. Birmingham From 2 December clinically extremely vulnerable people can return to work, Sickness and sick pay: FAQs for employers in the UK as lockdown restrictions ease. Employers will need to undertake individual risk assessments to support previously shielding staff to return. Before you ask anyone who has been shielding to return to their workplace, you’ll need to consider whether it’s safe and appropriate for them to do so. The shielding programme was paused on August 1, and people who stayed at home to protect themselves from Covid-19 were allowed to return to work. HR Solutions are here to provide you with support and advice on any employment related issues; to find out more call us on 0844 324 5840 or contact us online. It has been announced that shielding for the most clinically vulnerable people in England will be paused from 1 August 2020, meaning those who received letters telling them to stay in their homes for 12 weeks will be allowed to return to the office if they cannot work … Even though some restrictions have been lifted, many vulnerable people are extremely nervous about venturing out because infection rates are still high (estimated to be around 1,000 per day) and there's no vaccine. Updated guidance for young people to reflect that those who are shielding can now leave their homes. The return to work at the end of the shielding period is a foreseeable matter where a deconditioned worker may be fearing return to work, and occupational health (OH) have an opportunity to address … People who are ‘shielding’ will be able to return to the workplace from 1 August, health secretary Matt Hancock has said. However, the scheme is due to end on 31 October which means that … There are over 2 million people shielding, and whilst we do not know exactly how many are in employment, as things stand, we will see thousands of people return to work in August. People on the clinically extremely vulnerable list are more likely to become extremely ill, or to die if they contract Covid. Your risk assessments should therefore include all potential risk factors and identify the steps you can take to reduce these to the lowest possible level. The government is advising everyone to work from home if possible, but if you cannot work from home, you should go to work – this includes people who were previously shielding. If you are asking everyone to return to work this will, potentially, put disabled people who are included in the 'extremely vulnerable' group at a substantial disadvantage because it will expose them to a higher level of risk when compared to others who aren't in this group. You can use this note to claim … The next generation search tool for finding the right lawyer for you. If you haven't already re-opened, follow our advice here on risk assessments and consulting staff or representatives about health and safety. Anyone who has one of the medical conditions that makes them extremely vulnerable to becoming seriously ill or dying from coronavirus is likely to be able to establish a reasonable belief because of their status. Although the official end to shielding in the UK suggests that employers have the green light to get employees back to work, this does not change an employer's duty to make reasonable … This blog answers some of the most common questions we're asked about this. 30 Moorgate Do we need to conduct an individual risk assessment for shielding staff? The thought of returning to work after shielding is likely to affect each of us in different ways. 6 Brooklands Court 7. “It is … If your shielded employee can't work from home and it isn't safe for them to return to work, furlough is a good option. 314 Midsummer Boulevard This must happen before a return to work can occur. No doubt, that for those shielding as well as their employers, they will be apprehensive in returning and so communication is going to be key. Two-thirds of people who have been shielding from the coronavirus in England say they are comfortable going back to work if protective measures are in place, figures suggest. This is critical because whilst the infection levels are lower; the medical position on how it is transmitted remains the same. Tel: 0844 324 5840. You can only continue to pay them SSP if they are entitled to it on another basis (such as illness or because they are self isolating etc). However, the scheme is due to end on 31 October which means that you may have to consider other options after that date. Anyone who's been shielding should talk to their … Shielding will continue until at least July 31 in Scotland and August 16 in … Yes and they should continue to do so, even after the 'rules' around shielding are relaxed. That relaxation will be extended further from Monday 6 July and, from Wednesday 1 August 'shielders' will be able to return to work. Since August, clinically extremely vulnerable workers can return to their workplace as long as it is COVID-secure but should carry on working from home wherever possible. Communicating early and openly will gain employee support to any measures you bring in and will help you to ultimately achieve a safe return to work. We advise they discuss their situation, agree a plan for returning to work and adjustments that may be needed before they return.". But you can't furlough someone if they are receiving SSP so, you'll need to stop SSP before you furlough them. New guidance on 'shielders' - what options do you have if they can't work from home? When a return to work is possible employers must carry out individual risk assessments. As a general principle, working from home reduces the chance of you being exposed to the virus. If your shielded employee can't work from home and it isn't safe for them to return to work, furlough is a good option. Questions? 4. 2. It has also been confirmed that the Government remove an employer’s eligibility to claim statutory sick pay. Government guidance makes it clear that working from home remains the first option and that this group should only return to their workplace if they can't do so and their workplace is 'Covid secure'. Can we furlough anyone who is shielding? Where clinically extremely vulnerable staff are required to shield and are unable to work from home, employers should follow the latest Staff Council guidance on pay (Joint guidance on shielding due to … If you would like to learn how Lexology can drive your content marketing strategy forward, please email enquiries@lexology.com. If you can't reduce the risk you must consider other options (discussed below). Can a shielded employee continue to work from home? Tel: 0844 324 5840, © 2020 Business HR Solutions (Consultancy) Ltd. Site by BlayneyPartnership, We asked SMEs, what do you see as the major business and financial challenges over the next 12 months? Keep a step ahead of your key competitors and benchmark against them. For example, if your shielded employee works in a public facing role (such as a busy reception) can you move them into an admin role which doesn't bring them into contact with very many people? Where this leave is paid or not is currently under debate amongst solicitors and we will not know the definitive position until it gets tested in court. Even if you've already put in place changes to make your workplace safe for vulnerable or extremely vulnerable members of staff you should still conduct individual risk assessments before asking anyone in these groups to return to work. Where furlough is not available, and the employee is refusing yet you believe the workplace to be safe; allowing a reasonable period of leave would be seen as a middle ground and a reasonable approach. From 1 August 2020, those shielding will be able to return to work. What's the best way to respond if a shielded member of staff won't return because they are worried about their safety? Can we ask someone who is shielding to change their job role to one that reduces their risk? Updated their advice to those who are shielding due to end on 31 October which that. 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