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Therefore, even if you are convinced that your workplace is safe, you should listen to concerns raised and try and agree a way forward. Tel: 0844 324 5840. 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. From August 1 in England, they will no longer be required to stay at home and may be asked to return to work. 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… 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 … Calls will cost 10p per minute plus your telephone company’s Access Charge. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 … If you haven't already re-opened, follow our advice here on risk assessments and consulting staff or representatives about health and safety. 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. Your employer can still furlough you if you cannot work from home and it would not be safe for you to return … Get the latest news from HR Solutions delivered to your inbox, Business HR Solutions (Consultancy) Ltd 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. 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. 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 … Can we ask someone who is shielding to change their job role to one that reduces their risk? Free supply of vitamin D. Everyone on the shielding … 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. “It is … 7. 31 May 2020 Updated guidance in line with changes to the regulations which come into … 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. 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. However, the scheme is due to end on 31 October which means that … Understand your clients’ strategies and the most pressing issues they are facing. Everyone is currently advised to work from home where possible. Employers will need to undertake individual risk assessments to support previously shielding staff to return. 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. Clinically extremely vulnerable … Explain your approach to the risk assessment process, share your findings, and reassure them that your priority is their safety. Where possible, employers should continue to allow employees who have been shielding to work from home. 314 Midsummer Boulevard 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. 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. From 1 st August shielding … 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. 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. Shielded employees are protected if their workplace poses a serious and imminent threat to their health. Milton Keynes 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. If you are on the shielding list, you should follow the same advice as everyone else in your protection level. 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. Staff retuning to work after shielding may have specific needs and concerns about their return to the workplace. One Victoria Square Please contact customerservices@lexology.com. We advise they discuss their situation, agree a plan for returning to work and adjustments that may be needed before they return.". ", © Copyright 2006 - 2020 Law Business Research. The next generation search tool for finding the right lawyer for you. 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 … In addition, trainers will … 2. People who are ‘shielding’ will be able to return to the workplace from 1 August, health secretary Matt Hancock has said. Anyone who's been shielding should talk to their … 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 … 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. That relaxation will be extended further from Monday 6 July and, from Wednesday 1 August 'shielders' will be able to return to work. Find out th…, We would like to use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. 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. 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. This must happen before a return to work can occur. 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? 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. The thought of returning to work after shielding is likely to affect each of us in different ways. This is critical because whilst the infection levels are lower; the medical position on how it is transmitted remains the same. 1. 4. 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 … Currently yes, but from 1 August, those shielding will no longer be deemed incapable of work on that basis for SSP purposes. 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. When a return to work is possible employers must carry out individual risk assessments. "Lexology/Newsstand is an extremely useful resource. You can use this note to claim … 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. EC2R 6PJ 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. B1 1BD 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. MK9 2UB From 1 August 2020, those shielding will be able to return to work. 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. 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 … 3. Birmingham Questions? Tel: 0844 324 5840, Business HR Solutions (Consultancy) Ltd 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. 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. Health Education England (HEE) have also recently released guidance for shielding trainees, who will benefit from the Supported Return to Training scheme (SuppoRTT). 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. 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 … Yes and they should continue to do so, even after the 'rules' around shielding are relaxed. Become your target audience’s go-to resource for today’s hottest topics. As a general principle, working from home reduces the chance of you being exposed to the virus. 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. 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 … Employers must also be mindful of an employee’s right to make protected disclosures, also known as whistleblowing. Can we furlough anyone who is 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. 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. 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. 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. Do we need to conduct an individual risk assessment for shielding staff? 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. Midsummer Court It has also been confirmed that the Government remove an employer’s eligibility to claim statutory sick pay. 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. 30 Moorgate Updated guidance for young people to reflect that those who are shielding can now leave their homes. 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. This blog answers some of the most common questions we're asked about this. 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 … 5. If you can't reduce the risk you must consider other options (discussed below). 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. At the moment the government has summarised the changes and we hope more detailed guidance will be published in due course. New guidance on 'shielders' - what options do you have if they can't work from home? 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. Introducing PRO ComplianceThe essential resource for in-house professionals. Can a shielded employee continue to work from home? But you can't furlough someone if they are receiving SSP so, you'll need to stop SSP before you furlough them. 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). Those who have been shielding are classed as extremely vulnerable due to having very serious health conditions. 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. That means that you must take reasonable steps to avoid the disadvantage. 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. 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 … Will the government update its guidance on shielding? London 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? 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. These … 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. People on the clinically extremely vulnerable list are more likely to become extremely ill, or to die if they contract Covid. Anyone who is currently shielding is likely to be disabled within the meaning of the Equality Act 2010. 6 Brooklands Court 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. 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… This includes information about work… 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. Northants, NN15 6FD 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. Tel: 0844 324 5840, Business HR Solutions (Consultancy) Ltd Shielding will continue until at least July 31 in Scotland and August 16 in … What's the best way to respond if a shielded member of staff won't return because they are worried about their safety? What if an employee cannot work from home but does not want to return to the … If you would like to learn how Lexology can drive your content marketing strategy forward, please email enquiries@lexology.com. Keep a step ahead of your key competitors and benchmark against them. However, the scheme is due to end on 31 October which means that you may have to consider other options after that date. 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. Receiving it certainly makes my life a lot easier. PPN 02/20 had a similar purpose and effect as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) i.e. 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. The Government have updated their advice to those who are shielding due to Covid-19. 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'. Business HR Solutions (Consultancy) Ltd 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. 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. One option is to move the shielding employee - by agreement - to a role that poses the least risk to them. For more articles relating to the effects of the current pandemic visit the HR Solutions’ dedicated page ‘Coronavirus Advice and Guidance for Employers’. 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. Venture Park, Kettering 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. 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. However, many people will prefer to stay at home and prioritise the health of their loved ones rather than return to work … Use cookies to ensure you get the best way to respond if shielded. N'T reduce the risk assessment process, share your findings, and reassure them your... Confirmed that the Government remove an employer’s eligibility to claim statutory sick pay published in due course benchmark against.. S hottest topics medical position on how it is … Updated guidance for.! 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