Update on Dealing with Coronavirus in the Workplace

Date Added 13.03.20

This is an ever changing area at the moment and already, our article of just a week ago, needs updating.

What is the updated advice and what does it mean to you?

Well, now staff do not need to have returned from an affected area, to be advised to self-isolate. Anyone displaying the symptoms of Covid-19 are advised to self-isolate.

If you have any staff with symptoms, they should be self-isolating, even if those symptoms are mild. They will still be expected to and should follow your absence reporting procedure. If you have staff in self-isolation, then please note that they are entitled to SSP during this time and fit notes can be obtained by contacting the NHS on 111. The Government has advised that the first three days for SSP purposes are paid and they have also announced their intention for employers to be able to claim back SSP payments for staff off with coronavirus, if they have less than 250 staff.

What works for your business, will depend on the nature of it. Staff who can work from home, should be allowed to do so, if they need to self-isolate. During this time, they can be paid as normal.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • Cough
  • Fever or high temperature
  • Shortness of breath

Everyday Advice:

COVID-19 is ultimately a virus just like influenza and the many other viral illnesses which go around from time to time. The virus can cause more severe symptoms in those suffering from respiratory problems, weakened immune systems, cancer, diabetes or those who are elderly.

In order to best protect yourselves and your colleagues, please follow the below advice on personal hygiene:

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water;
  • If you cannot wash your hands, use hand sanitiser gel instead;
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze;
  • Bin any used tissues as soon as possible;
  • Try to avoid close contact with those who are unwell.

Advice in this area is changing regularly, so for more up to date information, the Government’s guide can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-people-with-confirmed-or-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection

If you need advice on how to manage staff during this time, then please talk to Tollers. We’re here for you.

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