The National lockdown restrictions have now been in force since 4 January 2021. The Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19 has subsequently been updated, and this replaces the previous guidance on shielding that was in place during the tiered system.
In general, those that are clinically extremely vulnerable are advised to work from home where possible. If this is not possible, CEV people and those shielding should not attend work. Shielding letters have been issued to this effect, in place from 5 January to 21 February 2021.
- Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – where applicable
Where alternative arrangements cannot be made, an employer may be able to furlough their employees under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which has been extended until the end of April 2021. Both employer and employee should have a conversation to establish if this is possible.
- Not attending work
Employees are not advised to follow the revised shielding advice unless they receive a new shielding notification advising them to do so.
Shielded employees are strongly advised to work from home because the risk of exposure to the virus in their area may be significantly higher. Shielded employees may want to speak to their employer about taking on an alternative role or change your working patterns temporarily to enable them to work from home where possible.
If they cannot work from home, then they should not attend work.
If an employee is not able to be put onto furlough, they may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) or Employment Support Allowance (ESA).
*For school staff employees this will be pay in line with Green book / Burgundy book*
The formal shielding notification that the employee will receive will act as evidence for the employer or the Department of Work and Pensions that the employee is advised to shield and may be eligible for SSP or ESA.
Any members of the household who are not clinically extremely vulnerable should continue to attend work if they are unable to work from home.