Following in from the PM’s announcement on 22 September many employers will now have to look ahead at the next 6 months with employees working from home again.  Boris Johnson has again urged office workers to work from home “if they can.” 

A lot of businesses have returned with employees on rotas as to when they work in the office and from home, however with this announcement, employees who can work from home are being encouraged to do so.

Therefore, employers will need to assess the employees ability to work from home, if the employee can work from home with ease and without any issues, then the employee should work from home.  However, for those whose roles cannot be undertaken from just simply accessing the VPN etc from home, then further considerations need to be made and the workplace should have the relevant COVID secure measures in place.

However, it does not just come down to being able to complete their role from home, other factors need to also be considered.  Myself, with millions of other parents have had the delight (that is putting it mildly) of their children return to school over the last few weeks.  However, it seems that having them in isolation for the last 6 months has meant that no sooner after their return, they are coming home with snotty noses and the joys of the common cold! This means then as precautions are being taken, many parents (including myself) have found themselves full of cold.  But is it not just that is it, many parents have also found themselves with their children being sent home from nursery or schools due a confirmed case of COVID meaning that the parent is then having to get tested or isolate depending on the advice being given.

So as an employer, what can you do at a time like this?

Well my advice is simple, if the employee can work from home, they work from home.  If the employee has been on furlough, you can place them back on furlough.  Alternatively, the employees can agree to take annual leave, or even unpaid leave if they do not have enough holiday or cannot work from home or have not been on furlough.  However, if the employee is unwell then the employee will be entitled to SSP or company sick pay depending upon your internal policies and procedures.

It is advisable before taking any action you obtain legal advice.  With this ever changing and ever evolving landscape, it is vital for your protection and your employees.

You can contact Emma-Louise Hewitt e.hewitt@sydneymitchell.co.uk on 0121 746 3300

 

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