Employee has contact with coronavirus sufferer

 

Protecting the workforce

If an employee does not have the symptoms associated with coronavirus, but has been in recent contact with an infected person, the employer should check guidance from the relevant public health body on whether or not it is necessary on risk grounds to ask such people not to attend work.

Medical advice

The employer should also check what medical advice the employee has received, for example from NHS 111, their doctor or the local health protection team.  If the medical advice is for the employee to self-isolate for 14 days, the HR department will need to make an exception to its normal requirement for medical evidence.  In practice, this normally means the employer forgoing its requirement for evidence of ill health for more than seven days to be in the form of a fit note.

Sick pay

Employees who are advised by NHS 111 or their doctor to self-isolate may be entitled to contractual sick pay and, depending on the circumstances, SSP.

To discourage infected employees from coming to work, it is good practice for employers to continue to give full pay to employees who self-isolate following medical advice from NHS 111, their doctor or the local health protection team.

GOVERNMENT GUIDANCE

COVID-19: advice for home isolation

COVID-19: hand-washing guidance

If an employee is absent following an instruction from their employer not to come to work, on risk grounds rather than specific medical advice, they are entitled to be paid as usual (unless their contract provides otherwise).