05 Mar Coronavirus (Covid-19) – Employee Advice
The outbreak of coronavirus in the UK raises a number of issues for employers and although there are relatively few confirmed cases in UK so far, it is important to seek the right advice now in order to respond to employee, customer and contractor queries.
What you should be doing as an employer
The latest government guidance is that certain individuals who may have been exposed to the virus should ‘self-isolate’ for 14-days. To deal with the impact this may have on your business and your employees, you need to have a plan in place to help reduce any negative effects.
As with all matters relating to infectious illness and disease, you continue to have a duty of care to all your employees under health and safety laws. If you are aware an individual has been advised to self-isolate, but you allow them to go into work and into contact with others, this could constitute a breach of your duty of care to other workers. This is particularly concerning where there are vulnerable employees such as pregnant women.
The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) has issued general guidance for employers including:
- Keeping all employees updated on actions being taken to reduce risks of exposure in the workplace
- Ensuring all personnel emergency and contact details are up to date
- Sharing information about symptoms so employees can recognise warning signs
- Updating managers on how to deal with sick pay, homeworking and unpaid leave relating to the virus
- Providing adequate washing facilities, tissues and hand sanitisers and promoting good personal hygiene
- Considering risks and implications of employee travel, particularly to and from affected areas
How can Streetwise HR help?
Streetwise HR has already been inundated with requests for advice and guidance on the outbreak of Covid-19 and as such we have put together some frequently asked question and answers to support you and your business, which you can download for free here.
We also recommend that you keep up to date on the latest advice from the Department of Health and Social Care on the UK Government website, and the World Health Organisation and Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
If you are concerned about the employment risks relating to the coronavirus and mitigating its impact on your workforce and business, we can help. We can support with advice on specific issues and developing a strategy to manage the ongoing risk as the virus persists. You can call us on 0844 682 7488 or drop us an email today.
To read our frequently asked questions and answers, you can download them for free here.