Government Guidance for Employers – Coronavirus

5th March 2020.

The government has published its guidance on COVID-19 for employers and businesses. This follows the ACAS guidance published last week.

Amongst the material:

  • A useful link to Category 1 and 2 countries – individuals returning from Category 1 should self isolate even if free of symptoms.
  • Isolate an employee who may have symptoms in a separate room and ask them to call NHS111 from their mobile & designate a separate bathroom for them if possible.
  • Stay at least 2m away from potentially infected people.
  • Do not automatically close workplaces if a staff member becomes infected & has been at work – contact the PHE local Health Protection Team for advice.
  • Assess the risk of an infected team member spreading the disease – generally only people they have been in close contact with will be at risk and, unsurprisingly, those in contact with their ‘bodily fluids.’ People identified as at risk will be asked to self isolate.
  • Clean all surfaces, door handles etc. an infected person may have been in contact with using disposable cloths and normal household detergents.
  • Double bag waste from an infected person and don’t put it in general waste – the PHE local Health Protection Team will advise on local high risk disposal arrangements.
  • Use discretion when it comes to sick notes for infected employees – your rules may require a doctor’s note after 7 days, but remember that infected people are being asked to stay away from GP surgeries. Discretion is the order of the day…

 

It was also announced yesterday that statutory sick pay would apply from day 1 for employees who are required to self isolate because of COVID-19, rather than after the normal 3 waiting days. This measure is designed to encourage ill employees to stay at home rather than risk spreading the disease. Note that this measure would apply to those required to self isolate and not those who choose to self isolate in the absence of NHS advice.

 

If you’re thinking of outsourcing your HR or employment law needs, why not contact myHRdept? Call us on 01628 820515 to discuss your requirements or contact us and we’ll call you back.

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