COVID19, Self-Isolation and Employer Duties

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The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation) (England) Regulations 2020 came into effect on 28 September 2020.

The regulations:

  • prohibits an employer from allowing a worker to attend any place (except the place where they are required to self-isolate) for any purpose connected to the worker’s employment;
  • sets out the prohibition on knowingly allowing a self-isolating worker or a self-isolating agency worker to be present anywhere for work purposes, other than the place where they are required to self-isolate;
  • requires a self-isolating worker to inform their employer of the requirement on them to self-isolate; and
  • requires a self-isolating agency worker to inform either their employer, the agency or the principal of the requirement on them to self-isolate. It requires whoever has received such a notification to pass the information on to the two other parties.

An important point to note is that the rules apply not only to conventional employees but also to other workers, including agency workers.

An employer or employee who breaches these rules can be prosecuted, or issued with fixed penalty notices ranging from £1,000 – £10,000 (for subsequent breaches). A corporate body may face prosecution in addition to any officer of the company who consented to the act, was in connivance, or was neglectful.

Companies also need to carefully consider what reputational damage might be caused to their brand in the event of negative publicity or conviction.

As always, the legislation is both detailed, ever-changing and complex, so if in any doubt as to your obligations, please get in touch with us as soon as possible.

How can we help?

If you need specialist advice, then get in touch with any of the criminal team on 0800 304 7740 and let us help. We can advise on a plea, defences and potential sentences in a wide range of circumstances. 

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