From 28 September 2020, a series of new rules in relation to COVID-19 have come into force that are relevant to employers in England.
One of the key rules is that it is an offence for an employer to knowingly permit a worker (including an agency worker) to attend any place other than where the individual is self-isolating. Please note that this does include individuals who are required to self-isolate because they live with someone who has tested positive. This means that if an employer knows a worker has tested positive (or happens to live with someone who has tested positive), it is responsible for stopping the worker from working (unless of course they can work from home). The penalty for an employer failing to do so is a fine starting at £1,000.
There is also an obligation on workers to inform their employer that they are self-isolating. If the employee fails to self-isolate, that in itself is a criminal offence.
The rules are called Heath Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation) (England) Regulations 2020 and they are detailed and complex.
As well as the points above, the rules also set out mandatory periods for self-isolation, and a duty to notify the Secretary of State of the names of people in the same household as anyone who has tested positive for Covid-19.
Please contact a member of our employment team for more information on 0125 828300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.