Self-isolation: Employer and employee obligations

From today (28th September 2020), employers and workers are under strict new obligations relating to self isolation. The Health Protection Regulations 2020 (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation) (England) were passed last night and set out new legal duties covering periods of self-isolation.

It is now an offence (punishable with a fine between £1,000 and £10,000) for an employer to allow a worker to attend work anywhere other than where the individual is self-isolating. Workers are also obliged to tell their employer that they are self-isolating.

Our advice to employers is that they should make clear to their workers (including casual and agency staff):

1. when they are required to self-isolate

  • if they have Coronavirus symptoms – immediately and for 14 days from the onset of symptoms
  • if they have a positive test result – immediately and for 10 days from the onset of symptoms or the positive test result
  • if a member of their household has Coronavirus symptoms or a positive test result – for 14 days from the onset of symptoms or the positive test result
  • if instructed to by NHS Test & Trace – for the period notified by the NHS authorities

2. that they are required to notify the employer as soon as possible if they are required to self-isolate

3. that if self-isolation applies because the employee shares a household with someone who has tested positive or who is symptomatic or following instructions from NHS Test & Trace, they must isolate for the full period, irrespective of whether they receive a negative test result

4. whilst self-isolating in the above circumstances, if they cannot work from home they will receive Statuary Sick Pay (SSP) and, if they are in receipt of certain benefits, they may also be entitled to a £500 Test & Trace Support Payment

5. they must not attend work, or any other location connected with their employment, whilst they are self-isolating

If you have any queries regarding how this impacts you and your business, please get in touch.