COVID Member’s Briefing 08/07/2022

With Covid numbers on the rise again here is a reminder of the Scottish Government’s guidance if someone tests positive for covid or has covid symptoms: Coronavirus (COVID-19) | NHS inform

So, it’s recommended rather than mandated that people stay at home for 5 days from testing or the day symptoms started, and stay off beyond that if they have a fever or don’t feel well. However, the company also has responsibilities under the Health & Safety at Work Act for the safety of all employees in the workplace. The significant concern is about the transmission and the potential for lack of control over the spread and harm to those with existing health issues.

In practical terms, many of our member companies have indicated that they are not completely comfortable in allowing people into work who test positive, or who have symptoms. We would suggest that companies have a set of rules surrounding COVID such that there are rules about attendance and there is also some support to allow people to deal with symptoms, and the ability to self-isolate. Subject to proof of a positive test it would be reasonable to encourage or require that employees with covid do not come to work and that they are paid for that time (now downgraded to 5 days or when an employee’s temperature and symptoms abate). This levels the playing field between those who can and who cannot work from home. For those who pay full company sick pay, this certainly makes sense. Those who only pay SSP will have a decision to make, but it may be hard to persuade people who only receive SSP to remain absent if they feel well enough to work despite having Covid.

Companies will also have to consider how they treat the resultant absence – will it count for totting up absences or redundancy assessments?

If you would like to discuss this further please call the Legal & HR Team on 0141 221 3181.