2 weeks ago
Return to lockdown
England and Scotland have returned to lockdown today, with the instruction being given that those who can should work from home. Also those who are clinically extremely vulnerable should shield again.
As a reminder, the furlough scheme is still available although if businesses are furloughing staff they must have this in writing.
Some specific pointers to remember
- Those who are required to shield can be furloughed if the employer is happy to do so
- Those who are required to self-isolate are eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
- Those who must stay at home to look after children can also be furloughed if the employer is happy to do so
- Normal furlough rules apply, meaning that the employee must carry out no work for the employer at all, save for training.
Employers should remember that staff who raise concerns about their safety at work, or the safety of others, must not be simply disregarded even if they are wrong. To do so may leave the employer at risk of a very expensive claim.
What to do if an employee raises concerns over safety
Take them seriously.
Take the time to listen to the concerns and make a note of them.
Consider if the concerns are reasonable, and even if not, whether they are easy to address. If so, address them.
If an employee refuses to attend work, and the employer has taken all reasonable steps to make them safe at work, and the employee is not shielding or self-isolating, then and only then can the employer take action against the employee.
If you have any specific questions, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try to cover the point when the answer is available.