Concerned about the Coronavirus?

The guidance can be found here:

https://www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus

It focuses on tips on how to handle sick pay, staff in quarantine and staff who do not want to come into work due to fears over catching the coronavirus.

The advice also gives tips for employers if the virus spreads widely in the UK or if a business needs to shut temporarily.

Doctor examining elderly man_12178

The key points are:

  • If an employee has been diagnosed with the coronavirus then they will be paid in accordance with your usual sick pay policy.
  • If a medical expert puts an employee into quarantine there is no legal obligation to pay the employee & no right for the employee to be paid Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).
  • However, Acas advice is that an employer should adopt a reasonable approach and treat the period of quarantine as a period of sickness in accordance with usual sick leave and pay policy.
  • Where schools take a decision to require children to self-isolate, employees who are parents will be entitled to unpaid time off for dependants.
  • Employers should be reasonable and supportive of employees who have been in contact with coronavirus and also where employees express a fear of working alongside colleagues who may have been in contact with the virus.
  • Acas recommend that employers should genuinely consider those fears & consider whether they can make adjustments to accommodate – flexible working / working from home? Annual leave?
  • Communication & forward planning is key. Employers should consider their approach & talk to employees ahead of what may happen.
  • Both employer and employee must take responsibility in terms of precautionary measures e.g. hygiene.

Further information

This is very much a fluid situation and information and guidance are regularly being updated. In addition to contacting the Employment Service Helpline to discuss any concerns with one of our employment advisers, the following links can be referred to for current details: