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Advice for “shielding” staff and others with underlying health conditions (6th Aug)

Reposting advice from our Facebook page

Government advice throughout the pandemic has been fast changing and sometimes contradictory. Late last week the government indicated that new local restrictions will be put in place across a large area in the North of England, and further loosening of lockdown restrictions have been paused. 

While the government maintains that it is still safe for shielding to end (and so for the most vulnerable people to return to work), many staff who fell into this category will of course have a number of reasonable concerns about returning to work in the current environment. 

Your reps can give you detailed advice about this and can support you in any conversations about any proposed return to work so we would urge you to contact us. The following points from our previous messages should be borne in mind by anyone who feels they may be at greater risk (and particularly those staff who were shielding up until the end of July):

  • Ask for an individual risk assessment to be conducted, and ask to see it before you return to work
  • Occupational health advice can also be sought if there are questions your line manager can’t answer (and again this can be provided before you come back)
  • You should not lose any pay just because you need a bit more time before its safe for you to return to work. It’s essential that all steps are taken to keep you safe, and to reassure you that you are safe before you come back to work
  • If you don’t feel safe to return, you don’t have to – you are protected by law from suffering any detriment related to your personal safety. Instead, managers should think creatively about working from home or, if you’ve been furloughed up until now, leaving you on furlough for the time being until matters improve

Contact Lee (07709 583846) or Mike (07964926949) if you need any advice at all about your individual situation (text first if possible) – or reply to this email and we can get back to you.

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