We are back in the delightful place of doing regular updates to Coronavirus guidance for employers. These rules are correct as of today, but please be aware that things may change. If they do, we will update the guidance.
Remember – we do a weekly Zoom call where we keep you up to date on the latest developments and answer your questions about any and all staff issues.
Working from home
From Monday 13 December everyone who can work from home should work from home.
If the chairman of the board does not want to allow this because he does not “believe in homeworking”, despite the events of the past two years, then ask him to take it up directly with the government and send staff home who can work from home.
If staff can’t work from home, we are back to strict enforcing of the wearing of masks, hand washing and other social distancing guidelines.
Good ventilation is essential, even if it makes the workplace a bit colder (we can wear thermals!).
Testing – Omicron variant
All staff who have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for the Omicron strain of Covid-19:
- Now legally must self-isolate for 10 days, whatever their vaccination status or any negative test results.
- They should also get a PCR test
- If the result is positive, they should paid in line with your sickness policy.
- If the result is negative, they still have to self-isolate.
- They could work from home or be paid SSP (from day one – but you are no longer able to claim back from the government).
- They can also claim a hardship payment of £500 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/test-and-trace-support-payment-scheme-claiming-financial-support/claiming-financial-support-under-the-test-and-trace-support-payment-scheme
However, if staff come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 that has not been identified as the Omicron variant, and they are fully vaccinated or aged under 18 years and 6 months, they are not required to self-isolate.
There is talk that the rules may change, and you would be able to get out of self-isolation through daily lateral flow tests, but that has not yet been confirmed.
If they feel ill themselves, particularly if ANY cold like symptoms
- They should take a lateral flow test (LFT) at once, and if they get a positive result, they have a legal obligation to self-isolate immediately, as does anyone in their household who is not fully vaccinated.
- They must get a PCR test as soon as possible to confirm the result and self-isolate until they get the results.
- While they are at home waiting for their results, they are self-certifying their sickness and should be paid in line with your sickness policy.
- If they receive a negative follow-up PCR test result (if taken within two days of the positive LFT), they can stop self-isolating and come back to work.
- If their result is negative and they still feel ill, they should stay at home and be paid in line with your sickness policy.
- If their result is positive, they are officially sick even if they do not feel unwell. They should stay at home for a minimum of 10 days and should be paid in line with your sickness policy.
Any questions, please let us know.