New Coronavirus laws came into force at midnight Sunday, 27th September 2020 (in England only), and they contain two key provisions that all employers need to be aware of:
The pithily-titled ‘Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation) (England) Regulations 2020’, make it a criminal offence for:
- An employer to knowingly allow any worker to attend any place other than where they are self-isolation.
- An Employee to fail to report to their employer that they are self-isolating.
Importantly, this means that Employers are responsible for what they are aware of their employees’ actions. The regulations include agency workers, so extend widely. Also, it is not just a requirement to stop the employees attending their workplace (if their workplace is not at home anyway). The regulations make it clear that it is an offence even to know that the employee has left their place of isolation to go to any other location.
Any employer in breach of these regulations will face a fine of a minimum of £1000.
These regulations highlight the importance of having clear procedures on reporting and monitoring absences but more importantly ensuring all staff responsible for implementing the policies understand how they work. If you have any questions about the new regulations or about how to manage absence in the workplace, the Employment team at Steeles Law are available to help.
If you would have further questions regarding any of the points raised by the new Coronavirus laws for employers or you wish to speak to a member of the Employment team, please do not hesitate to call 01603 598000 or email email@example.com. Appointments are available at our Norwich, Diss and London offices or your offices by appointment.
*The information provided in this article is designed to provide useful information on the subject, not to provide specific legal advice.