Employers will now commit a criminal offence and face fines if they knowingly permit a worker to attend the workplace after they have been told to self-isolate.
Workers who fail to tell their employer they are required to self-isolate will also commit a criminal offence and face fines. So far these new regulations only apply to England and they came into force at midnight on Sunday 28 September Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation) (England) Regulations 2020.
This requirement to self-isolate applies to anybody who has:
Workers must notify their employer that they have been told to self-isolate before they next attend the workplace and give their employer the self-isolation start and end dates (Regulation 8). The rules also apply to agency workers who must tell either their employer, their employment agency or their principle. Whoever is informed by the agency worker must pass the information onto the other two parties.
These new Regulations also place a responsibility on employers to prevent workers whom they know must self-isolate from working (unless they can work from home). Many workers will only be entitled to statutory sick pay whilst self-isolating which may encourage some not to tell their employer they have tested positive or received a formal notification. At the time of writing it is not yet clear what measures authorities will be taking, if any, to inform employers of their workers’ positive results.
As Regulation 7 places criminal liability on employers who ‘knowingly’ allow self-isolating workers to come to work we recommend that businesses take the following steps:
If you require further advice on any of these issues or a new or updated coronavirus (COVID-19) policy please contact us.