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Social Distancing and Vulnerable People…

Current government advice is for everyone to try and stop unnecessary contact with other people i.e. “social distancing”. This especially important for those regarded as “vulnerable” people.
Social distancing includes:
• Working from home where possible
• Avoiding using public transport except where travel to work is essential
• Avoiding gatherings of people, whether in public, at work or at home
Employers should support their workforce to take these steps. This includes:
• Enabling staff to work from home wherever possible
• Arranging remote calls and meetings using video or conference calling technology
• Where providing essential services, such as food retailers, staff working to the social distancing rules i.e. working at least 2m distance from colleagues
• Alternatively, e.g. food warehousing, allowing more flexible ways of working, such as changing start and finish times / rearranging shift patterns to reduce the number of staff attending at any one time
Vulnerable People
The government has issued guidance that strongly advises people who are at a higher risk of catching coronavirus (vulnerable people) to take strict social distancing measures.
Employers must be especially careful and take extra steps for anyone in their workforce who is in a vulnerable group. They include, but are not limited to, those who:
• Have a long-term health condition, for example asthma, diabetes heart disease, or a weakened immune system as the result of medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
• Are pregnant
• Are aged 70 or over
• Care for someone with a health condition that might put them at a greater risk
Working from home
Where work can be done at home, the employer could:
• Ask staff who have work laptops or mobile phones to take them home so they can carry on working
• Arrange paperwork tasks that can be done at home for staff who do not work on computers
If an employer and employee agree to working from home, the employer should:
• Pay the employee as usual
• Keep in regular contact
• Check on the employee’s health and wellbeing
If an employee does not want to go to work
Some people might feel they do not want to go to work if they’re afraid of catching coronavirus. This could particularly be the case for those who are at higher risk. An employer should listen to any concerns staff may have and should take steps to protect everyone. For example, they could offer extra car parking where possible so that people can avoid using public transport.
If an employee still does not want to go in, they may be able to arrange with their employer to take the time off as holiday or unpaid leave. The employer does not have to agree to this. If an employee refuses to attend work without a valid reason, it could result in disciplinary action.
Thank you to our insurer partners for their continued help and support during these strange & uncertain times, for more information please contact us

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