Self-isolation and your business

ended 21. February 2022

A journalist at the Mail Online is seeking snap reaction from businesses about what policies they are planning to enact after the Government ends the legal requirement to self-isolate this week. After all remaining Covid restrictions are lifted... 

  • Will you allow staff with Covid to self-isolate, and will you pay sick pay if they are unable to WFH?
  • Do you plan to pay for Covid tests for your employees if they are no longer provided free by the Government?
  • Are you planning any other 'Covid-safe' policies, such as mask wearing, once the legal requirement to self-isolate ends?
  • HRs: what problems could firms run into regarding self-isolation and the workplace?

Deadline is ASAP so do not attempt to write War and Peace!
 

13 responses from the Newspage community

Star Quote
"I won't only allow staff to self-isolate, I would recommend and encourage them to do so. Making sure they have everything they need to be safe is one of my priorities. In terms of wearing masks, I'm not one for making rules outside of the office or work place but when you are in an enclosed space with limited windows I would always encourage people to wear masks. I wouldn't ask them to do something I wouldn't do."
Star Quote
"We will be applying healthy dollops of common sense and pragmatism to the advice we give our clients, and taking the same approach ourselves. It all depends on the context a business operates in, their communication with employees and a pragmatic approach to risk. As an HR and management training consultancy, we will continue to request people take a LFT prior to attending face-to-face courses. If one of our team tested positive for COVID, I would expect them to take the same action as they would if they had a bad cold, namely stay at home, take the time they need to fully recover, and definitely not to bring it into the workplace!"
Star Quote
Ross Boyd
CEO at Dashly.com
"We will absolutely allow people with Covid to self-isolate and believe they probably should for the time being at least. Who knows what's round the corner? We'll definitely be happy to cover Covid tests for our staff, as it's in their interest and our own. A good employer wouldn't think twice about that. Overall, I think we need to get back to normal but equally we need to continue to protect the vulnerable. If someone in your company is particularly at risk of getting seriously ill from Covid, is it responsible to ask staff with Covid to come into the office?"
Star Quote
"As a Theo Paphitis 'Small Business Sunday' winner, we are attending his annual networking event this Friday. There will be over 2000 attendees and we've all been asked to provide proof of a negative lateral flow test, which I think is a very reasonable request. We wouldn't want our own staff to work at our events with Covid, ultimately putting 100's of guests at risk. It's a fine line for business, in that we need to learn to live with Covid, but the health of our team and clients must always come first."
Star Quote
"Even once formal restriction have been removed, I plan to continue to encourage my staff to regularly work remotely, and certainly if they have Covid. I don't want to catch or spread germs, it's just general consideration for others. Plus I realise it's a nice perk to work from home, which both my staff and I appreciate. If they are too ill with Covid to work from home then the usual sickness policies will apply, and I'd encourage them to take time to rest and get better. I'm definitely not going to force them to work. I've had Covid and some days it's impossible."
Star Quote
"We will be making employees self-isolate if they have Covid, and we will be paying them as normal. I have an auto-immune disease and I don’t want to get it for the second time. We will be paying for tests for our employees as well. Companies need to think about those who are more vulnerable, and removing all precautions could result in absences among other staff members."
"I’ll be complying with the government guidelines. If they say it’s fine, then it’s fine. I think they’re wrong, however, but I’ll follow what they say and then hold them accountable if it turns out they’re wrong. Again."
"We are a digital business that was born working from home, and that has continued to grow whilst working remotely. If we meet up for face to face working sessions, it is not really any different from visiting a restaurant or pub in your social life (safer if anything). So, I don't see any reason for us to act differently towards covid at work as we would in our own lives, i.e. getting on with it normally."
"We intend to return to a common sense policy whereby if our colleagues are ill we will ask them not to come into work and they will be paid at full pay as is our policy. We have consulted with our colleagues who are all comfortable that if someone has tested positive but aren't showing signs of being ill they will come to work with usual protocols of working with a 2 metre gap and our high quality cleaning controls in place."
"Throughout the entire pandemic, we have followed the guidance and will continue to do so as we now learn to 'live with COVID' and will adopt a common sense approach in line with our existing policies. Sick pay will continue to be paid where required and if staff feel they would be best to self-isolate we will of course support them in doing so, including WFH if that is the best answer. We have never mandated that staff should carry out COVID tests as 'proof to work' and see no need for this to be changed. We must put trust in our employees to do the right thing, the same as they would have done before COVID if they felt unwell or unable to work. "As a business, it will be important to continue to monitor the guidance and adapt as needed, we've seen the impact variants can have on quick decision making and it is our responsibility to make sure our staff are comfortable at work, at home and aren't pressured into a situation that makes them uncomfortable."
"As restrictions are lifted, companies need to stop thinking separately about Covid and treat it as part of their usual sickness absence procedure/policy. All absence is dealt with on a case by case basis so this should be no different. Common sense please, surely we don't need to keep being told how to manage things as a 'nanny state'. Each business is individual as are its employees, and they should manage it the way that works best for them."
Once again Boris seems hellbent on making life difficult for businesses - now delegating health policy making to firms who are already under extreme pressure to survive in very difficult times! Workers will be left at the whim of decisions being made by time-pressured people who are not medics or scientists, yet they will be held accountable for them despite being in an information vacuum.
"As a very small business serving our community, and with many customers being older with health conditions, we have no intention whatsoever of relaxing any covid regulations. We will continue to wear masks on the shop floor, our classroom will continue to run at half capacity, all screens and partitions will remain, and should any of our team get Covid then they will work from home or get sick pay if WFH is not possible. We will also continue to test weekly, as long as the tests do not prove too expensive. The health and saftey of my staff and customers remain my priority."