Should I be working?

Stay at home as much as possible

If you have symptoms of coronavirus infection (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home and do not leave your house for 7 days from when your symptoms started, if you live with others all of you must stay in for a minimum of 14 days. See the stay at home guidance  for more information.

My employer wants me to come in even though I feel ill, what should I do?

Employees are required to take time off work if they are ill. Government is clear that employers should support their staff’s welfare, especially during an extended response. By law, medical evidence is not required for the first 7 days of sickness (that is, employees can self-certify), however an isolation note is now available for people online here.

My employer wants me to come to work. How do I respond when I don’t have a sick note?

Employees must take time off work if they’re ill. By law, medical evidence is not required for the first 7 days of sickness (that is, employees can self-certify), however an isolation note is now available for people online here.

Will my boss believe that I need to be at home? Will it risk my job?

Employees must take time off work if they’re ill. By law, medical evidence is not required for the first 7 days of sickness (that is, employees can self-certify), however an isolation note is now available for people online here.

What businesses have been told to open and close?

In the first instance, employers should make every effort to support working from home, including by providing suitable IT and equipment as they have been already. This will apply to many different types of businesses, particularly those who typically would have worked in offices or online.

Where work can only be done in the workplace, we have set out tailored guidelines for employers to help protect their workforce and customers from coronavirus while still continuing to trade or getting their business back up and running. We have published detailed COVID-19 secure guidelines, which has been developed in consultation with businesses and trades unions.

These ‘back to work’ guidelines apply to those in essential retail like:

  • supermarkets
  • those in construction and manufacturing
  • those working in labs and research facilities
  • those administering takeaways and deliveries at restaurants and cafes
  • tradesmen, cleaners and others who work in people’s homes
  • those who are facilitating trade or transport goods
  • and so on

Non-essential retail, restaurants, pubs, bars, gyms and leisure centres will remain closed. They will reopen in a phased manner provided it is safe to do so.

There are specific guidelines for those who are vulnerable, shielding, or showing symptoms.

What is a critical worker?

Critical workers are those working in health and care and other essential services, who can still take their children to school or childcare and can use hotels and other accommodation services for work related purposes - for example if they can’t get home after a shift or need to isolate from their families. This critical worker definition does not affect whether or not you can travel to work – if you are not a critical worker, you may still travel to work provided if you cannot reasonably work from home.

What is meant by the phased approach?

Not all forms of work will return to normal at once. People will have to prepare for a new type of normal. We need to make sure that any changes we do make are carefully monitored and that we aren’t doing anything to increase the risk of infection and push the Reproductive value (R0) above 1. R0 describes how many people on average will be infected for every one person who has COVID-19.

We will ensure that businesses have time to prepare their premises to operate as safely as possible.

We will set out more detail about the phasing in due course.

What are the ‘Covid-Secure’ safety guidelines workplaces have to be put in place?

We have set out clear, practical steps that businesses should take to ensure their workplaces are COVID-19 secure and give their staff the confidence to return back to work.

These include how to keep as many people as possible safely apart from those they do not live with in various workplace settings.

 

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