New shielding guidance – what employers need to know

3 mins

Posted on 21 Oct 2020

The Government has revised its shielding advice following the introduction of the new 3 tier restrictions and its work from home advice. 

The guidance is for those previously identified as clinically extremely vulnerable and differs between the tiers. Where someone lives in an area with a different alert level to where they work, they should follow the guidance for the higher alert level.

Employers should continue to ensure workplaces are Covid-secure and follow the Working Safely during coronavirus guidance.    

The advice for those who are clinically extremely vulnerable is:

General advice: all Tiers

  • Work from home where possible
  • Where this is not possible, they can go to work unless they are in a very high alert level area (Tier 3) and have received a new shielding notification advising them to shield (see Additional shielding measures for Tier 3 below) 
  • If they need to use public transport, they should wear a face covering (unless exempt) and should consider travelling outside peak hours  

Alert level: medium (Tier 1)

  • Work from home where possible but if not possible, they can attend the workplace
  • Limit journeys on public transport where possible 

 Alert level: high (Tier 2)

  • Work from home where possible but if not possible, they can attend the workplace
  • Avoid travel where possible, except for going to work.  Walk or cycle where possible. Otherwise travel by car with their own household/bubble is generally lower risk than public transport

Alert level: very high (Tier 3)  

  • Strongly advised to work from home where at all possible
  • If working from home is not possible and they are concerned about going to work, they may want to speak to their employer about taking an alternative role or changing their work patterns temporarily (for example, to avoid travelling in rush hour)
  • If there is no alternative, they can still go to work 
  • They can continue to travel to work but should avoid travel into or out of a local COVID alert level: very high area

Additional shielding measures for Tier 3

The Government may also advise more restrictive shielding measures in Tier 3, based on advice from the Chief Medical Officer.  This will only apply to those who receive a new shielding notification from the Government advising them to follow shielding measures.  

The advice for those who receive a shielding notification is:

  • They are strongly advised to work from home 
  • If they cannot work from home, they should not attend work
  • If they cannot attend work for this reason, they may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay or Employment Support Allowance 

Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19

The articles published on this website, current at the date of publication, are for reference purposes only. They do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Specific legal advice about your own circumstances should always be sought separately before taking any action.

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