Whilst many people are currently still required to shield due to being classed as clinically extremely vulnerable, that’s all about to change.
As of 1 April 2021, the shielding advice, which has already been extended once, will end.
This means that the estimated 3.7million people to whom the shielding guidance applies, will be able to follow the national restrictions in line with the rest of the country. They are however, still advised to take extra precautions to stay as safe as possible.
What does it mean for employers?
The current guidance is that everyone should work from home where possible, and that will now apply to those previously required to shield. If they are unable to work from home, then they are now able to attend their workplace.
As an employer, you have a duty to take steps to reduce the risk of exposure to Covid-19 and must continue to make the workplace as safe as possible and maintain social distancing.
From 1 April 2021, those who were required to shield will no longer be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay.
Does furlough still apply?
Yes, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until 30 September 2021. Employers can place those who were shielding on furlough providing they meet the eligibility criteria.
What do we do if employees refuse to return to work?
If an employee is unable to work from home and is refusing to attend the workplace then it will be vital to consult with them to identify the individual’s issues and concerns.
If you have any employees in this situation then please call the team on 01752 663295 as each situation will be case specific and you could benefit from legal support.