Home Business and economy Employers must continue to adhere to self-isolation rules

Employers must continue to adhere to self-isolation rules

by Jonathan Kearney

Despite a significant reduction in the number of COVID cases since the turn of the year it is vital everyone continues to follow the rules and NHS guidelines around COVID symptoms.

It is an offence for employers to allow employees to attend the workplace if they are aware the employee:

  • has tested positive for COVID-19
  • has received a notification to self-isolate from NHS Test and Trace

Employers have a legal duty to not allow employees to come into work or work anywhere other than where they are self-isolating (which is usually their home) for their full self-isolation period (10 days). Failure to do so could result in the employer facing a fine, starting from £1,000.

Employers risk fines of up to £10,000 for repeated breaches.

If employees develop symptoms of coronavirus, they must self-isolate at home and arrange a COVID-19 test. The main symptoms of COVID-19 are a new, continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss or change to your sense of taste or smell. Unless they receive a negative test result employees must not attend a place of work, other than their home.

If any of your employees test positive

Employers should call the Self-Isolation Service Hub on 020 3743 6715 as soon as they are made aware that any of their employees have tested positive.

Employers will need to provide the 8-digit NHS Test and Trace Account ID (sometimes referred to as a CTAS number) of the person who tested positive, alongside the names of co-workers identified as close contacts. This will ensure that all workplace contacts are registered with NHS Test and Trace and can receive the necessary public health advice, including the support available to help people to self-isolate.

The self-isolation service hub is a reporting service to ensure your employees can access contact tracing support and access any financial support. It is important for Knowsley based businesses that if there are concerns with multiple cases or outbreaks in the workplace you should contact COVID19.SPOC@knowsley.gov.uk  as soon as possible.

Minimising the risk

By law, employers are responsible for the health and safety of all employees, including those working from home.  Where it is possible, working from home is essential to limit mixing between households. The guidance remains that people should work from home unless it is not reasonable to do so.

Employers should:

  • support staff to work from home where possible
  • make workplaces as safe as possible (if working from home is not possible)
  • encourage employees to download and use the NHS COVID-19 app

Guidance on making your workplace COVID-secure can be found here.