As it eases the lockdown measures and encourages more people to return to work, the Government has produced guidance for employers.
This guidance covers measures to help employers continue to protect their workers’ health and safety as well as detailing its new NHS Test and Trace service.
Employers are being advised they must continue to follow health and safety workplace guidance for their sector. Requirements include:
- making every reasonable effort to enable working from home as a first option;
- identifying sensible measures to control the risks in the workplace where working from home isn’t possible;
- keeping the workplace clean, maintaining safe working separation, and preventing transmission through unnecessary touching of potentially contaminated surfaces.
Five-step guidance and sector-specific guidance for employers is available online.
Following this guidance will help employers reduce the risk of a spread of infection in the workplace.
In the Government guidance, self-employed people are encouraged to continue working from home if they can and where this is not possible to follow the Five-step guidance and sector-specific guidance.
Self-employed people’s businesses adversely affected by coronavirus may be eligible for a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.
NHS Test and Trace service
Launched in late May, the NHS Test and Trace service forms a central part of the Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy.
Through this new service, anyone who tests positive for coronavirus will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and will need to share information about their recent interactions. This could be with household members, people with whom they have been in direct contact, or within 2 metres for more than 15 minutes.
Those people identified as having been in close contact with someone who has had a positive test result must then stay at home for 14 days. They must do this even if they do not have symptoms, to prevent them spreading the virus without knowing.
People in isolation who develop symptoms can book their own test at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119. If they test positive, they must continue to stay at home for 7 days or until their symptoms have passed. If they test negative, they must complete the 14-day isolation period.
Employees in self-isolation are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay for every day they are in isolation, as long as they meet the eligibility conditions.
Information for employers on reclaiming Statutory Sick Pay
The NHS Test and Trace service will provide a notification that can be used as evidence that someone has been told to self-isolate.