It’s fair to say that we have all been living in far from normal times.
Covid-19 has had a significant impact on all aspects of our lives, with many of us facing challenges such as financial insecurity, the fear of losing loved ones, feelings of loneliness, and fear of contracting the virus.
And, now as the world attempts to resume some sense of normality, new challenges are emerging, especially for businesses. One of the main issues for businesses currently is supporting their staff in the return to work and managing absence due to isolation.
Here’s our guide outlining how you can support your staff and manage absence.
When will your staff be told to isolate?
According to official Government advice, your staff must stay at home and isolate if they meet any of the following criteria:
• They have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or have tested positive for the virus
• Someone in their household has symptoms or has tested positive for the virus
• They are told to self-isolate by an NHS test and trace service
If someone is not able to work because they have been told to self-isolate, they should let their employer know as quickly as possible. And remember, if your staff are told to isolate, they are legally obliged to do so and could face significant fines if they do not comply.
Supporting your staff through isolation
All employers, regardless of the sectors they operate in, must ensure they have measures in place to support staff through isolation. This is especially the case for those that suffer from mental health conditions.
Isolation can be incredibly difficult for many people, especially those living alone and struggling with lack of contact. With this in mind, it’s important to engage with your employees in order to understand how they feel, how they are coping and if there is any support that they need.
During any isolation period, employers should make frequent contact to check on the health and wellbeing of their employees, whilst addressing any concerns that they might have.
Return to work measures should also be put in place, to ensure that employees are able to make a positive transition back into the workplace following isolation. This is because it’s important that employees regain an effective work-life balance and are able to address any fears that they have regarding a return to work.
Supporting absence during isolation
At the moment, thousands of employees up and down the country are self-isolating and it’s important that employers have procedures in place, so they are able to support their workers.
If an employee needs to self-isolate, you should take the following action:
• If a member of your team is at work, you should send them home straight away
• Remember to support your employees while they’re at home
• Consider your employee’s mental health and wellbeing
• Consider making changes to the workplace to stop further spread
Finally, if your employee is not able to work because they have COVID-19 and cannot work from home while self-isolating, you must pay them sick pay.
If you have any questions about supporting your team through isolation, or your legal requirements, please get in touch.