The government announced on 4th November that they were introducing new shielding guidance for those who have been identified as ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’.
The guidance, amongst other things, states that the individuals are “strongly advised” to work from home. If this is not possible, the individual is advised that they “should not attend work for this period of restrictions”, i.e. the current period of lockdown (or any extension thereof). Please note that the guidance is ‘should’ and not ‘must’ – these words have a distinct difference in employment law.
Read the full guidance here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19
Embrace HR have clients who have put in extensive Covid-secure measures and who have staff who have asked to continue in the workplace (following strict measures of course). If this applies to a member of your team, please contact us for a declaration form that you can use to ensure there is a clear audit trail covering their decision.
However, if your employee is not comfortable being in work and cannot work from home, your options are to pay SSP (or contractual sick leave) or to furlough them. Contact us for more information around this.
You may also wish to note that others living in a household with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable are not advised to follow this guidance. They should instead continue to attend work and school in accordance with the general advice and regulations.