The COVID-19 pandemic has raised a host of questions for employers who are wondering about their rights and obligations. Here you’ll find some answers.
Employers have many questions about their rights and obligations when it comes to their workers and workplaces during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, we answer a few of the most common.
If I Suspect A Worker Has COVID-19 Can I Ask Them Not To Come To Work?
The answer to this depends on why the employee is being excluded. To exclude a worker because you’re following the government guidance about self-isolation is considered reasonable since you’ll be complying with your health and safety obligations towards your other staff. In such instances, the employee is eligible to receive statutory sick pay from the first day that they are asked not to attend work, and you’re required by government guidance to use your discretion while respecting the individual’s need to self-isolate when deciding whether to pay sick pay. On the other hand, should you be sending the worker home in a situation where no government guidance exists, you will normally be required to pay them as usual.
Can I Demand My Workers Come Back To The Office?
From 22nd September 2020 new measures were announced by the government in an attempt to suppress the transmission of coronavirus. This means that any office worker who can effectively work from home should be permitted to do so during the winter. However, if you determine your employees cannot effectively work from home, they may work in another workplace or in the office itself.
Will The “Rule Of 6” Apply In The Office?
It is currently illegal for a group of more than 6 people to meet either outdoors or indoors in England. However, this rule will not apply to work gatherings. Also, if a group includes an individual who is working, they’re not taken into account in the total figure. So, as an example, a tradesperson entering a home with six occupants will not breach the limit if they’re working on the property.
Can I Legally Ask My Employees To Be Tested For COVID-19?
If you wish to administer COVID-19 testing in the workplace, the consent of your employees must be obtained. This includes the taking of employees’ temperatures. If you proceed without getting their consent, this may equate to a breach of contract. It could even potentially be viewed as an assault if you carry out a temperature check against their will.
Will I Face Penalties If I Require An Employee Who Is Supposed To Be Self-Isolating To Come To Work?
You can receive a fine of as much as £10,000 if you force or allow any employee to come to work while they are supposed to be self-isolating. You should be aware that directors may be held personally liable to pay this fine.
These are just some of the most frequently asked questions posed by employers in England today. Hopefully, you’ve found the answers you’re seeking.