Coronavirus & Employers

We have had several questions this week about Coronavirus and, while the risk level in the UK is still listed as moderate by Government, we thought we might offer some guidance to employers.

What should employers do about Coronavirus now?

  • Ensure contact numbers and emergency contacts are up to date.
  • Educate managers to recognise coronavirus symptoms as well as actions to take should an employee become sick at work
  • Distribute hand sanitizers and tissues and encourage their vigilant use.
  • Send an email and offer guidance encouraging employees to increase their hand-washing routines, take care when disposing of used tissues, minimise interpersonal contact with other employees, etc.
  • Ensure employees are aware of what they should do if they become sick at work.
  • Provide employees with the link to the ACAS coronavirus guidelines.
  • Employers with the space might create a designated ‘sick room’ for any employee who develops flu-like symptoms at work.

What should employees do if they become sick at work?

  • Stay 2 metres from other employees and avoid touching anything
  • Go to an enclosed room
  • Use a tissue when coughing or sneezing and carefully dispose of tissues in a bin.
  • If they have no tissue cough or sneeze into the crook of an elbow.
  • If possible use a separate bathroom from others
  • Call NHS advice at 111
    • Be prepared to describe their symptoms and any recent travel
  • Employees who are seriously ill or if their life is at risk should call 999

Do employers have to pay sick pay for employees diagnosed with coronavirus?

Employees with coronavirus are sick and normal sick pay guidelines apply.

What about employees in quarantine or self-isolation?

While there is no legal requirement to pay someone in quarantine, not doing so could encourage quarantined employees to come into work. For now, DLP recommends treating quarantined employees the same as sick employees.

What about employees who just don’t want to come to work?

In the short term, DLP recommends listening carefully to employee concerns and, if possible, offering flexible working such as working from home. If flexible working is not possible you might consider allowing employees to take holiday or unpaid leave.

What other resources are available?

Check the daily Government updates for the latest information on coronavirus. (updated 2PM each day)

Read the ACAS guidelines.

DLP will prepare additional guidance should the situation change.

This page does not offer legal advice for your organisation or specific situation. Further, DLP is not qualified to offer medical advice.

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