29 Sep 2020

Staff in self-isolation? Here’s what you need to know

BAGMA Legal is advising members of new legislation regarding employees required to self-isolate.

Yesterday, it became law that anyone testing positive for Covid-19 must self-isolate – and could face fines or other penalties if they do not.

Guidelines for employers come under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation) (England) Regulations 2020,and set out mandatory periods for self-isolation, and a duty to notify the Secretary of State of the names of people in the same household as anyone who has tested positive for Covid-19.

Under Regulation 7, it is now 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 tested positive.

This means that if an employer knows a worker has tested positive (or lives with someone who has tested positive), it is now responsible for stopping the worker from working (unless they can work from home). Any employer who fails to do so will face a fine, starting at £1,000.

There is also an obligation on the worker to tell their employer that they are self-isolating (Regulation 8). Any individual who breaches self-isolation will, normally, commit a separate criminal offence (Regulation 11).

BAGMA Legal says employers should ensure their Covid-19 procedures are robust and reflect these requirements and all employees are reminded of their obligation to notify them if they are self-isolating.

Read the Government’s full statement here