New national restrictions came into force in England on Thursday 5 November and are due to remain in place until Wednesday 2 December.
Everyone who can work from home must do so. Where people cannot do so, they should discuss this with their line manager in the first instance, with the view of agreeing arrangements for them to attend their workplace as long as it is COVID-Secure.Public sector employees working in essential services, including childcare or education, should continue to go into work.
However, extra consideration should be given to those people at higher risk:
Clinically Extremely Vulnerable
Those who are classed as clinically extremely vulnerable must work from home. If their current role cannot be carried out at home, potential redeployment opportunities could be considered but only for roles that can be carried out from home.If the employee cannot work from home then, as previously advised, employers will have no option other than to accept that some employees will be staying at home on normal full pay for the duration of these restrictions.
Those who are classed as clinically vulnerable, including women who are pregnant,should be especially careful to follow the rules and minimise their contacts with others.This should prioritise working at home if they are able to do so. Employees who cannot work at home should only attend the workplace if it is COVID-secure. Potential redeployment opportunities could be considered but, again, only to a workplace that is COVID-secure.If an employee expresses concerns about returning to the workplace it is important that their manager and / or HR ascertains and seeks to address the reason for the concerns and carries out an individual risk assessment.Please refer to NJC circular dated 12 June for further guidance. If the COVID secure requirements are not met, the employee should not return to work until the appropriate measures are in place and in the meantime should continue to remain at home on normal full pay.
Trade Union Secretaries Rehana Azam, GMB
Jim Kennedy, Unite
Jon Richards, UNISON
Posted: 13th November 2020