What does “Living With Covid” mean for employers?
The Government has now released plans as to how society needs to move forward from the Covid-19 pandemic, including the relaxation of isolation rules and charging for covid testing. But what will it mean for employers?
What’s the plan?
The new “Living with Covid” plan looks a little like this:
From 24 February:
- people with Covid will no longer be legally required to self-isolate, although guidance will remain in place to stay at home and avoid contact with others for at least five full days
- self-isolation support payments for those on low incomes will stop
- routine contact tracing will end - people in contact with someone with Covid will no longer be advised to self-isolate or take daily tests
- workers will no longer be required to tell their employer if they need to self-isolate
From 1 April:
- Covid tests will no longer be free for most people
- the use of Covid passports will no longer be recommended, except for international travel
- employers will no longer have to consider Covid as a separate risk when working out how to keep employees safe
No more disparity doesn’t mean no more virus
We’ve already written about how Covid is causing disparity after some larger employers stated they would not be paying unvaccinated individuals who needed to isolate. Now we are potentially looking at freedom that might look strangely familiar to the days pre-Covid - but despite the rules relaxing, the virus has not gone away.
Start the dialogue
Employers have a duty of care to all employees, for their health and safety and general wellbeing. . Therefore, we would recommend keeping communication open with employees to make sure they are aware that rules in your workplace may be changing, and give them the opportunity to come forward and request any additional measures as per individual circumstances.
If you would like some advice either as an employee or an employer about how the Living with Covid plan might affect you, contact the Employment team at Downs Solicitors to see how we can help.