Update on shielding and protecting staff who are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable

The Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19 was updated on 7 January 2021 to reflect recent national lockdown that came into effect on 5 January 2021.

What does this mean for staff that are in the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable category?

The guidance can be found here.

Everyone in England, including those who are clinically extremely vulnerable, are required to follow the new national lockdown guidance.

During this period of national lockdown clinically extremely vulnerable people are being advised to stay at home as much as possible and may be asked to formally shield.


Clinically extremely vulnerable employees are strongly advised to work from home. If employees are unable to work from home, then they should not attend work.

Employees may want to speak with their employer to consider taking on an alternative role or a change in working patterns on a temporary basis to enable employees to work from home.

If alternative arrangements cannot be made, the employer may be able to furlough the employee under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, if applicable.

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.

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 full 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.

Members of the household who are not clinically extremely vulnerable should continue to attend work if they are unable to work from home, in line with the wider rules set out in the national lockdown guidance.

Updated as at 7 January 2021

The law and practice referred to in this article or webinar has been paraphrased or summarised. It might not be up-to-date with changes in the law and we do not guarantee the accuracy of any information provided at the time of reading. It should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice in relation to a specific set of circumstances.

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