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New laws on self isolation for employers and workers

28 Sept 2020 – £1000+ fines for employers and workers for failing to self isolate

Under the ‘Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self Isolation) (England) Regulations 2020 a worker must self isolate:

  • if they have tested positive for Covid-19; or
  • if they live with someone who has tested positive.


The new regulations make it clear that this is a shared duty – the employer may be fined £1,000 for failing to carry out its duties and, if it continues to fail to do so, fines will escalate. The worker for their part is now under a legal duty to inform their employer about a positive test for themselves or somebody they share a home with, and if they fail to do so can also be subject to an initial fine of £1,000.

Over the weekend it was widely reported in the press that of those told to self isolate by UK Track and Trace, only 12% of people actually did so, and an alarming percentage of people who actually tested positive have also refused to self isolate. We presume these measures are intended to address these issues by sharing the burden between employers (some of whom may be tempted to pressure staff to work) and workers (who may feel they can’t afford not to come to work.)


£500 self isolation payments coming soon to help low paid self-isolate

In a further effort to ensure that the infected self isolate, October 12th will see the new £500 Test and Trace Support payment, enabling low paid workers to claim up to £500 for the period of self isolation if they or a person they live with tests positive. We understand that the payment will be available to anyone in receipt of benefits (4 million people) and will be backdated to cover anyone needing to self isolate from 28th September.

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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