What Do The Proposed Changes In The Self-isolation Rules Mean For Your Employees?
Boris Johnson yesterday announced plans to lift the laws requiring those with Covid 19 to self-isolate within a matter of weeks.
The Prime Minister revealed that he will present his plan for “Living with Covid” when Parliament returns from a half-term recess on 21st February, but has said that as long as the data allows, he hopes to lift the restrictions by the end of this month.
He stated that “Provided the current encouraging trends in the data continue, it is my expectation that we will be able to end the last domestic restrictions – including the legal requirement to self-isolate if you test positive – a full month early.”
This is likely to cause employers and employees some fear and confusion about what this means for the workplace. On one hand employers may fear whole workforces becoming infected should people continue to come into the workplace when they have Covid 19 and on the other hand some employees may not want to attend the workplace alongside those who are infected with Covid 19.
It has been clarified that businesses will be given a wide range of guidance on how to treat employees following the change in the rules, and the Prime Minister’s official spokesman clarified in a briefing with journalists that they would not recommend people go to work if they test positive for Covid.
The Spokesman said “What we would simply be doing is removing the domestic regulations which relate to isolation,”
“But obviously in the same way that someone with flu, we wouldn’t recommend they go to work, we would never recommend anyone goes to work when they have an infectious disease.”
Danielle Ward, Senior Associate specialising in employment law, at Mullis and Peake LLP Solicitors, said:
“It will be interesting to see what guidance is issued by the government in order to not only assist in improving the country’s economy but also keeping people safe. We will have to watch this space.”