On 28th September, the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation) (England) Regulations 2020 came into force.
The Regulations require all workers to notify their employer if they are required to self-isolate and they are due to undertake any work from a location that is not where they are self-isolating. This will usually be the employee’s home, so the Regulations would prevent employees from attending any other place to work including site meetings, client offices as well as the employer’s location.
Obligation to self-isolate
The Regulations require self-isolation where an employee is informed by an NHS or Local Authority worker or representative that:
- they have tested positive for Covid-19 such that they are within an isolation period;
- they have had close contact after 28 September with someone who has tested positive such that they are within an isolation period; or
- a child (under 18s) for whom the employee is responsible has tested positive such that they are within an isolation period; or
- a child for whom the employee is responsible has had close contact with someone who has tested positive such that they are within an isolation period.
The Regulations also refer to further potential notifications from the Secretary of State as yet unspecified.
Generally, an employee with Covid-19 is required to self-isolate for a period of 10 days from the date of receipt of the positive test result. An employee who has come into close contact with somebody who has received a positive test result for Covid-19, must self-isolate for a period of 14 days from the later of (a) 5 days before the date of the close contact’s positive test result, or (b) from the date on which the close contact first reported symptoms of Covid-19.
Obligations of Employer
Under section 7 of the Regulation, an employer cannot knowingly allow a self-isolating employee to attend any place other than their isolation location for any purpose related to the worker’s employment. If an officer of any business consents to a breach that obligation or if any breach is attributable to their negligence, then that individual officer and the business will have committed a criminal offence.
Obligations of Employee
Under section 8 of the Regulation, a self-isolating employee who is (a) aware of the requirement to self-isolate and (b) due to work during the self-isolation period other than at their designated isolation location, they must notify their employer of a requirement to self-isolate and the start and end date of the isolation period. Any breach of this obligation is a criminal offence subject to a fine.
Fines for breaking self-isolation rules
Fines for both employees and employers breaking the new self-isolation rules range from £1,000 to £10,000. Under section 7 of the Regulations, it is also an offence for employers to knowingly allow one of their workers or agency workers to work anywhere other than where the person is self-isolating. This means that employers who know their employees should be self-isolating will be responsible for preventing them from working (except where they can work from home).
Talk to an employment solicitor who can help with your options.
Being prepared and having a range of options that are legal and acceptable to staff going forward, is the responsible thing to do.
A good employment solicitor will help human resource managers, and business owners get the right processes in place to ensure there are no legal mistakes being made.
Speak to Justin Sadler, Employment and Contract Solicitor at Barrett and Co Solicitors LLP Reading, on 0118 958 9711 or email [email protected]andCo.co.uk.
I approached several local companies about advice on an employment matter. Barrett and Co were, by far, the most responsive and flexible. The advice I received from Justin Sadler was timely, expert, professional and concise. Thank you for a great service.
17th November 2020
Based on my experience I would have no hesitation to recommend Barrett and Co to any friend or family member in need of legal services. Further, any legal service is only as good as the people within it and the people at Barrett and Co are brilliant. They are helpful, communicative, understanding and patient. They explain the options and when legal language is required and necessary they are willing to sit down and explain what it mean in plain english. Great people and a Great service,
7th October 2020
Paul was really responsive, supportive and answered all my questions in a really honest and professional way. It was a pleasure working with him and i would recommend him to anyone needing a solicitor. Thank you Paul
6th October 2020
I have worked with Justin Sadler several times and he always responds really well with easy to understand advice
5th September 2020
Vanessa drew up my will after a video consultation (due to Covid 19) and then I got it signed and witnessed in the office car park maintaining social distancing. My will was very straightforward but Vanessa ensured that all necessary areas were considered and addressed. I received a very professional, courteous service and I would certainly use Barrett and Co again.
3rd September 2020
Dealt with Chris Miller who was fantastic from the start. Clear assessment of the issues and risks with great guidance and proactive communications. Chris is a very valuable asset and I would recommend him fully. The only issue I had was with the bill which was not clear and had to be adjusted. We won the case with costs awarded but it still cost us the best part of £1400, not sure how that works....
16th August 2020
Justin Sadler provided an excellent service in relation to an employment matter. His clear and concise guidance provided me all the necessary assurance and support to conclude the matter. The rest of the team at Barrett's, where also very professional and highly responsive in the short time I had available to reach a conclusion. Barrett's certainly instilled a strong sense of trust and would definitely be my first choice for any future legal matters.
13th August 2020
From start to finish these guys made me feel at ease during a turbulent time. First class service from all who I death with so I highly recommend them.
6th May 2020