Employer Coronavirus Update

All employers and workers are still being affected by Covid-19 in some way. Protecting people’s health and wellbeing should still be every employer’s key concern.

The rules on self-isolating are currently different in England, Scotland and Wales.

In England, there is no legal requirement to self-isolate, but if someone has Covid-19 symptoms or has tested positive, they should follow government guidance to self-isolate for at least five days. Staff should only leave home and return to work after they have received two negative test results on consecutive days. Employers should tell staff to only return to work after testing negative in line with that guidance.

From 1st of April, PCR and lateral flow testing will no longer be available for most people in England. If employers are insisting that people with symptoms test following this date, then they may have to pay for the tests.

Employers should review the government guidance, talk with their staff and decide what staff should do if they are affected by Covid-19. It’s good practice to agree a policy with staff on self-isolation so everyone understands the process to follow. This can be sent out in a memo to all staff, so they have it in writing.

Scotland and Wales
In Scotland and Wales, self-isolation is a legal requirement if someone tests positive and in some other circumstances. Someone could get fined for breaking the law if they do not follow self-isolation rules. If someone cannot work because they have to self-isolate, they must tell their employer as soon as possible.

Sick Pay for Self-Isolation
In England, from 24 March 2022, staff will no longer be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for self-isolation, unless they are displaying symptoms.

People will still be eligible for SSP subject to the normal provisions, but the day one eligibility for sick pay for those who test positive will no longer apply.

Some employers can claim back up to two weeks SSP they have paid to anyone because of Covid-19 through the SSP Rebate Scheme. In England, this ended on 17 March 2022. Employers must submit any claims by 24 March 2022.

There are currently no changes for Scotland and Wales.

Risk Assessments
From 1st April the COVID-19 secure guidelines the government published during the pandemic to help employers reduce risks surrounding return to the workplace will be replaced with new public health guidance, and employers will no longer have to explicitly consider Covid-19 in their health and safety risk assessments.

If you have any questions, please give us a call on 01392 247436 or email enquiries@perspectivehr.co.uk.

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