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Business News

UK Health Protection Regulations 2020

08/10/2020

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation) (England) Regulations 2020 came into effect on 28th September and applies to all employers and employees.

If you are an employee and test positive for COVID-19 you must notify your employer and self-isolate. The same rules apply as an employer, if you are aware of a COVID-19 positive employee, you must send them home to self-isolate— it’s your legal duty to comply, or face fines.

 

Below is a round-up of what the regulations mean:

  • Under The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation) (England) Regulations 2020, employers have a legal obligation to ensure staff they know have tested positive for COVID-19, or have been in close contact with somebody who has, do not attend the workplace.
  • These new regulations apply to all employees. 
  • Failure to comply with the new law is a criminal offence and organisations and workers could face a fine of £1,000 for their first offence, rising to £10,000 for repeated infringements.
  • Workers are now also required to inform their employer if they have to self-isolate, and face a £50 fine if they fail to tell their employer about this.
  • This would mean employees would be required to go home – and tell their employer why – if they received a call from a contact tracer or a test result text message while at work.
  • The only form of notification which is specifically excluded is one from the NHS COVID-19 app which is in itself confusing but those are the regulations.

 

The link to the full regulations can be found here: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/1045/made

 

So who’s responsibility is it to inform and act? 

The regulations put a joint responsibility on both the employee and employer hence fines for both. But it might be wise to inform all employees that under the new act it is their responsibility in the first place to inform their employer if they receive a positive test result or contact from a contact tracer informing them of a positive test or the need to self-isolate then they must leave the workplace and inform you if you are the employer.