New Regulations came into force at midnight on 28 September in England relating to Coronavirus of which employers will want to be aware of – the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions)(Self-Isolation)(England) Regulations 2020
These set out mandatory periods for self-isolation, which remain the same and are:
- 10 days from the first day of symptoms or the date of the positive test if there were no symptoms. If symptoms start after the positive test isolation must be 10 days from the first day of the first symptom.
- 14 days if you live with someone who has symptoms (14 days from their first symptom) or a positive test (14 days from the positive test or if they develop symptoms after the test, 14 days after the first symptoms)
What does this mean for employers? Regulation 7 makes it an offence for an employer to knowingly permit a worker (including an Agency Worker) to attend any place other than where the individual is self-isolating. This includes individuals who are required to self-isolate because they live with someone who has had a positive test. As an employer, you are responsible for stopping the worker from worker with the exception being if they can work from home. Any employer who fails to do so will face a fine, starting at £1,000. Remember you can ask for proof of a positive test or for proof of a household members positive test. However, you can only do so if you are aware that a household member have had symptoms or a positive test. The regulations do also cover that the worker must tell their employer they are self-isolating and if they breach self-isolation they will usually commit a separate criminal offence under regulation 11.
Never an easy thing to manage but unless your staff can work from home, ensure they follow the current isolation guidance, act on symptoms and that you act on the information that you are aware of.