We have been aware that there has been a requirement for individuals who are considered to be ‘extremely clinically vulnerable’ to shield at various stages throughout the pandemic, at one stage this restriction was lifted only for individuals to be placed back into shielding.
What has now changed
As of 1 April 2021, in England and Wales, individuals on the shielding list can begin to follow national restrictions alongside the rest of the population, although they are still advised to take extra precautions to keep themselves safe from coronavirus.
What precautions should be in place in the workplace
We urge employers to treat any Employees who have been shielding treated in the same way as other individuals; that means where possible they should work from home, where this is not possible, they should return to the workplace.
It is imperative that as an Employer your workplace is Covid-Secure, that you have provisions in place to manage the process of the return of Employees who have been in shielding.
You may wish to implement a phased return to work, this may assist the individual settle into work, you must ensure that extra precautions are taken, this may mean hygiene routines, social distancing, staggering shifts and breaks etc.
It is important to note that individuals who have been shielding will no longer be eligible for SSP or similar benefits because of being advised to shield.
How can we help
If you have any questions regarding this, or if you require support or advice on any other HR, Covid or Employment Law matters, please contact a member of the team on 0333 006 9489