If you cannot work from home, you can still attend your workplace as your workplace should be COVID-secure. longer be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (“SSP”) unless they are ill or By March 2020 almost 1/3 of the world’s population was in lockdown*. The thought of returning to work after shielding is likely to affect each of us in different ways. Employers will though have to be especially careful to protect such people, ACAS says. This means that employers must carry out a You may feel relief in being able to go back to a sense of normality and to see your work colleagues, or you may feel anxious and apprehensive to go into the workplace again. When you feel safe to do so, try going for a short walk up your street, wearing a scarf or covering your face to help you feel a sense of safety and protection. Do I have to to return to work after August 1st? If an employee refuses to attend work without a disciplinary action. There will be a number of potential concerns for those returning to work in the post-pandemic environment. Tel: 01202 057676, Office 309, 107 – 111 Fleet Street, London EC4A 2AB Tel: 02039 784720, 302 Charminster Road, Bournemouth BH8 9RU. Talk to your manager: Your manager is there to support you. Employees and workers who are no longer shielding may be able to return to the workplace if it's safe. Individuals who are shielding should stay at home and not leave the house at all. on the changes from 1 August -. From 1 August, employees who have been shielding will no Get a shielding note if you cannot work. the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme provided that they have been placed on should stay at home as much as they can and should continue to adhere to strict risk assessment, identifying any potential changes to the workplace to reduce the If an employee refuses Some employees may be returning to work after having been furloughed during the lockdown. Diana’s story: Returning to work after shielding for four months Posted on: 30th July 2020 Diana, who had a liver transplant in 2008, was one of 2.2 million people who are classified as clinically extremely vulnerable in England and was advised to shield to keep her safe. Connect with your team: Whilst you have been shielding, you may have had less contact with your team members. People are there to help. As COVID-19 becomes more in control and lockdown restrictions are eased, those of us who have shielded will be invited to transition back into work when it is safe to do so. You can access it here. the workplace is ‘COVID-secure’. We recommend that employers engage in conversations with Your employer could be breaking the law if they tell you to return to your workplace after you’ve told them you’re shielding. to their role – perhaps they would be agreeable to return to a slightly Whatever you are feeling, remember that this is … a change in the contractual terms so the employees agreement must be sought); Consider another type of leave i.e. If they can continue to work from home, the employer should support this. Walk a little longer the next time until you feel more comfortable outside again. You should also check what benefits you can get. Anxiety – Returning to work after shielding Covid-19 has impacted on us all as individuals, families and as employees the world over. This guide is designed to offer you supportive advice to help you to transition back into the workplace in a safe and comfortable way: Take small steps: As lockdown restrictions start to ease, start with small steps that feel right for you. Try and re-connect with your colleagues before you return if you can or make this your main priority on your first day back. On Monday, July 6, those shielding can gather with up to six people outdoors, and form a support bubble with another household. Have the conversation with your manager or Human Resources team to see what may be possible. We may have a lot of mixed feelings about coming back to work. Your personal safety is what’s most important, and you can check the current Government guidelines on shielding here. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. If you decide not to go to work, you could ask your doctor for a fit note to say you can’t work. Many people have been subjected to social isolation, confronted possible illness, and/or bereavement, and many will be experiencing financial problems. We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. This may help them to support you a little better when you return. anxious about returning to the workplace. Being compassionate in this way will mean a lot. The employee could be placed on furlough under favourable treatment as a result of their impairment or something arising from furlough previously (i.e. 302 Charminster Road, Bournemouth, Dorset BH8 9RU Tel: 01202 525333, 14a Haven Road, Canford Cliffs, Poole, Dorset BH13 7LP Tel: 01202 709898, Monmouth Court, Southampton Road Ringwood, Hants BH24 1HE Share how you are feeling with them. Others might be anxious about not being able to return to the workplace. However, people who have been shielding … The government has set out a series of steps for relaxing shielding guidance which comes into place from 6 th July and 1 st August. Where possible, employers Reach out to remind them that you care and are thinking of them. Employers should encourage staff to talk to them about any concerns they have, and try to resolve them together. It could be as simple as spending more time in your garden (if you have one) or just opening and standing in the front door or in a window, reminding yourself what it feels like to be outside again. Can Shielding Employees Return To Work After 1 August, https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19. Do the things that help you to transition back into a sense of normality in a way that feels right for you. risk of COVID-19 i.e. Returning to the workplace after shielding. Emphasis has been placed on the importance of employers complying with guidance to make the workplace 'COVID secure' before shielding employees return to work. who are returning from shielding, please contact our employment partner, Kate Remember, shielding guidelines were there to protect you and following them was the right thing to do. The government’s guidance states that these individuals may You can use this note to claim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). If you feel able to, try and share how you are feeling, what it has been like whilst shielding and then returning to work. If you have any medical-related questions, seek advice from your GP or the healthcare practitioners that would normally support you. As you return to work, it may be difficult to re-connect at first. to attend work and is unable to work from home, the options are as follows:-. Individuals with certain medical conditions have been identified by the Government as 'clinically extremely vulnerable' and have been advised to 'shield'. Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance; This publication is available to download in other formats. If you have access to a car and can drive, you could try going for a short drive. Emphasis has been placed on the importance of employers complying with guidance to make the workplace 'COVID secure' before shielding employees return to work. still be at risk of severe illness if they catch coronavirus and therefore I work in a motorway service station with no restrictions on customer numbers in the retail department I work in. “Those who have been shielding may return to work from 1 August 2020 as long as the workplace is ‘Covid secure’, and it will be for employers to demonstrate that this is the case,” he said. Only return when it is safe: You may feel eager to get back to work and see people, or you may feel anxious or pressured to do this, especially if you are feeling a sense of guilt where your colleagues have been working in your usual workspace and you have not been able to join them. Seek support when you need to: If you remain feeling anxious, it’s ok to seek support. Monitor how you feel: We are all different and transitions in our lives impact us in unexpected and changeable ways. changes to terms so as not to put them at a disadvantage. The Government acknowledges staff may feel anxious about returning to work once the guidance has eased. This could include the things you may be looking forward to when returning to work, and any anxieties that you may have. The word "Partner" refers to a Member of Ellis Jones Solicitors LLP. Work flexibly, where you can: COVID-19 has enabled us all to consider ways of working flexibly. Hi there, I received a letter from the NHS telling me to shield for 12 weeks. Employers should therefore assist and … Further changes come into effect on August 1, when those who are shielding and unable to work from home can return to work as long as certain protective measures are in place. This is something that I insisted they set up. The employee will not be entitled to be paid if he/she does We would employees who have been shielding to reassure them of measures the employer is Guidance for workers and employers on returning to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic. There are over 2 million people shielding, and whilst we do not know exactly how many are in employment, as things stand, we will see thousands of people return to work in August. Talking about it helps. health conditions which could amount to a disability and may therefore be different role or hours on a temporary or permanent basis (this will amount to I have also been furloughed until further notice, but it looks like other employees are returning to work in the company I work for. Whatever you are feeling, remember that this is completely okay. adjustments i.e. It is good news for employers who need their employees back at work. Speak to your manager and Human Resources team to explore what they can do to support you to feel safe and effectively return to work. Your manager will be able to put you at ease by sharing how the workplace has been made safe to return to work, work through any anxieties you still have, and put in place any personalised measures to support you to safely re-enter work. should continue to allow employees who have been shielding to work from home. The expectation is that employers should continue to support employees who are extremely vulnerable and have decided to comply with the guidance to shield and potentially stay away from the workplace. You can check if you can get statutory sick pay (SSP). In the moment support, using the BPM technique: If you are feeling overwhelmed at any time, try this simple ‘BPM’ technique to help you get through it: We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. suggest that unpaid leave or disciplinary action should be a last resort and Employees who have been shielding are likely to have underlying VAT Number 323712191. Employees Returning After Shielding 29th June 2020 At the start of the Coronavirus Pandemic, around 2.2 million people in England with underlying severe health conditions were asked to Shield by the NHS by staying at home and avoiding non-essential face-to-face contact. It’s helpful to notice these emotions and how they are making you feel, as acknowledging them helps you to deal with them. Welcome them back: It’s likely that you haven’t seen your colleagues properly, if at all, since before they began shielding. This document is part of a collection. Employers must therefore take care when Do Staff Who Are 'Shielding' or 'Vulnerable' have to Return to Work if their Workplace is Open? If you would like any advice regarding employees RETURNING to work is now an option for thousands of Britons as lockdown measures are slowly eased. Employers should therefore assist and before 30 June 2020); Consult with the employee regarding adjustments Take some time to compassionately welcome them back into the workplace and let … Keep this conversation going with your manager after you have return, as they are there to support you. dealing with these employees. I've recently had a review by occupational health because of the end of shielding and came out as moderate to high risk due to my severe asthma and other conditions I suffer from. or on 01202 057754. Ellis Jones Solicitors LLP is a Limited Liability Partnership registered in England and Wales with number OC345296 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under number 512098. I have a return to work interview on Monday so we can agree what’s required for me return safety. Colleagues may find it difficult to understand what it was like to have shielded and how you are feeling having to transition back into the workplace. Brooks at kate.brooks@ellisjones.co.uk You may feel relief in being able to go back to a sense of normality and to see people, or you may feel anxious and apprehensive to go outside and into the workplace again. Whatever you are feeling, remember that this is completely ok. You may experience mixed emotions, happiness to re-connect with colleagues and re-enter the workplace, or fear and anxiety from having to be in a place where you perceive you could be less safe than in your own home. sick leave, If someone does not want to return I have severe asthma and have been shielding for 20 weeks now. This will help you to feel more prepared to re-enter your workplace when it is safe to do so. self-isolating. These employees will also be entitled to reasonable However, it is likely that employees who have been shielding will feel The Scottish Government has produced a specific ‘Covid-age’ risk assessment tool and this should be used as the basis for assessment of returning staff after shielding. Returning to work after shielding . The return to work at the end of the shielding period is a foreseeable matter where a deconditioned worker may be fearing return to work, and occupational health (OH) have an opportunity to address the above mentioned (physical, psychological and emotional) issues affecting the shielded worker. support these employees to transition back to work. This could be for example being forced to work your usual hours in the office when you might be entitled to reasonable adjustments if you are Equality Act disabled. vulnerable should continue to work from home if they can. As individuals and organisations, we have all had to make changes to how we manage our day to day lives. Those who were shielding will, from 1st August 2020, no longer be required to shield and may return to work if their workplaces are COVID secure. However, it is likely that employees who have been shielding will feel anxious about returning to the workplace. The Government acknowledges staff may feel anxious about returning to work once the guidance has eased. hygiene practices. This ultimately means that people who have been shielding … Making the decision about returning to the workplace. Keep in touch: Whilst your colleagues are shielding, they are likely to feel isolated and alone. © 2020 Ellis Jones Solicitors LLP. protected from unlawful discrimination under the Equality Act 2010. Tel: 01929 422233, 39a East Street, Wimborne, Dorset BH21 1DX The guidance states that employees can go to work as long as their impairment. not attend work and there is not a valid reason for the refusal. Staff retuning to work after shielding may have specific needs and concerns about their return to the workplace. You may feel relief in being able to go back to a sense of normality and to see people, or you may feel anxious and apprehensive to go outside and into the workplace again. From 1 August 2020, individuals who are at high risk from The thought of returning to work after shielding is likely to affect you in different ways. The thought of returning to work after shielding is likely to affect each of us in different ways. The message is clear that where possible, employees who are most which the employees may have regarding their return. Some people might be anxious about safety and returning to the workplace. Tel: 01425 484848, 55 High Street, Swanage, BH19 2LT Since August, clinically extremely vulnerable workers can return to their workplace as long as it is COVID-secure but should carry on working from home wherever possible. Disabled employees are protected from less Returning to Work after Shielding Across the country people are returning to work after shielding. If you are returning to work after shielding you may encounter issues when you are back at work. You should continue to work from home where possible. Returning to work after shielding: guide for individuals. All rights reserved. only likely to be necessary in extreme cases. Elsewhere, subject to advice from the Chief Medical Officer, high-risk employees in Wales can potentially return to the workplace from 16 August, while Scotland has extended its advice to shield until at least 31 July, with no indication yet as to what will happen after this date. I consent to the information in this form being stored securely by Ellis Jones Solicitors LLP. for those who have being shielding. holiday, or unpaid leave; or. This should be part of a broader re-induction process that takes on board any adjustments or ongoing support that people may need following lockdown. Please see the following link to the government’s guidance This brings with it a need to weigh up the potential safety and risk to ourselves and others, with the need to return to the workplace. What should employers do? Anyone who's been shielding should talk to their employer as soon as possible about plans to help them return. There are approximately 2.2 million people in England classified as being at high-risk. I work in adult healthcare but have been shielding since March. But if they can do 100% … If you're unable to work because you work in an area where shielding advice is in place, you may be able to get a shielding note to give to your employer. Government advice to work from home wherever possible, offers two options: Supporting working from home until social distancing is relaxed; Facilitating a return to the workplace in line with COVID-secure workplace guidance when working from home is … PPE, social distancing measures, enhanced cleaning and It may be possible to explore more flexible ways of working with your employing organisation that will help you when returning to the workplace. I was seriously ill in hospital last year with flu and pneumonia, so know I won’t stand a chance against Covid. valid reason, this could amount to unauthorised absence and result in taking to ensure safety in the workplace and also to deal with any concerns It is good news for employers who need their employees back No doubt, that for those shielding as well as their employers, they will be apprehensive in returning and so communication is going to be key. Meditation can also help you with this, and there are free meditation apps on people.nhs.uk. But with no update I don’t know what is expected of my employer. Employers will need to carry out enhanced risk assessments at work. Under the current rules, the government says shielding workers can return to their workplace as long as it's Covid-secure. coronavirus will no longer be advised to shield. 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