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hardworkingdude  
#1 Posted : 07 January 2021 12:08:27(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
hardworkingdude

Hi all, if an employee is classed as extremely vulnerable and advised not to go to work, is the onus on the employee or the employer? If the employee says I still want to come in, does our duty of care extend to preventing him from working?

This is in the scenario where he cannot wfh, cannot be on furlough and the business will not pay sick pay,

Holliday42333  
#2 Posted : 07 January 2021 12:13:33(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Holliday42333

Originally Posted by: hardworkingdude Go to Quoted Post

Hi all, if an employee is classed as extremely vulnerable and advised not to go to work, is the onus on the employee or the employer? If the employee says I still want to come in, does our duty of care extend to preventing him from working?

This is in the scenario where he cannot wfh, cannot be on furlough and the business will not pay sick pay,

Genuine question; why can they not go on furlough?

RVThompson  
#3 Posted : 07 January 2021 12:26:16(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
RVThompson

Does the employee not qualify for sick pay?

From ACAS: https://www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus/vulnerable-people-and-high-risk

Shielding

If someone who needs to shield cannot work from home, the employer should talk to the person about:

    taking up an alternative role that's suitable and safe to do from home

    not returning to work until it's safe to do so

If they cannot work, the employer may be able to put the person on furlough (temporary leave).

Otherwise, they may be entitled to one of the following:

    Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

    Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

    Universal Credit

CptBeaky  
#4 Posted : 07 January 2021 12:33:55(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
CptBeaky

We had this issue. I will go through the timeline.

Monday EVP (extremely vulnerable person) gets NHS text advising them to shield again. They come into work and ask what to do. We advise them to isolate but then start looking into the furlough thing. Technically speaking there is a job for them, so they shouldn't be furloughed, but they cannot afford to be off on SSP. We left the decision to them (as it is advice, not law). And they stayed, much to my dismay.

Tuesday EVP is out on a service call, i speak to my Directors. They agree to furlough him. I call them, they finish the job and goes home. They are now furloughed until advised to return to work.

Whilst furlough isn't necessarily intended for shielding people, we could find no reason it couldn't be used for that. When is all said and done it is their choice whether or not they want to shield (For the record we have a healthy 81 year old in our factory that won't shield, thankfully they get vaccinated tomorrow). If you as an employer force the person to shield you will have to do it on full pay, as it is your choice to have them away from work.

We were advised that we get them to sign a form to acknowledge they were being furloughed for their safety, worded to the effect of we had no work for them currently on site that they could carry out in a safe manner, due to them being EVP, and no work they could reasonably do at home. This is more for a paper trail, in case we are investigated for the furlough scheme.

Long story short, if they want to stay at home and you agree, you can furlough them. If they choose to come to work you can't really stop them, unless you suspend them on full pay under H&S concerns. If they choose to shield without your permission then they are at least due SSP. I would recommend furlough as the most reasonable option.

Note: I am not involved in employment law, this is just how we interpreted the rules

A Kurdziel  
#5 Posted : 07 January 2021 12:35:33(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

Why do they want to come in: is the money, is it fear of losing the job or they just like hanging out at work?

If they do fall ill, what happens then? Who will be blamed- I don’t necessarily mean in legal terms but who will be regarded in the business as being to blame? Will management be happy to dump it all on the employee-which sounds contemptible to me or will they find someone in the management chain to blame? The effect on morale would be terrible.

thanks 1 user thanked A Kurdziel for this useful post.
CptBeaky on 08/01/2021(UTC)
hardworkingdude  
#6 Posted : 07 January 2021 12:37:06(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
hardworkingdude

Very similar to the above is our situation, however my thoughts are that we owe a duty of care to the employee. Whilst the business doesn't want to furlough for some reason and the employee doesn't want to be on SSP, if he eventually did get the virus and potentially get hospitalised, would we not get some recrimination for breaching said duty of care?

CptBeaky  
#7 Posted : 07 January 2021 12:58:54(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
CptBeaky

Originally Posted by: hardworkingdude Go to Quoted Post

If he eventually did get the virus and potentially get hospitalised, would we not get some recrimination for breaching said duty of care?

This is the big question, and to be honest I don't think anybody really knows the answer. The virus is a public health issue, it would be very hard to prove (beyond reasonable doubt) that they contracted the virus in the workplace. Would you expect to be sued if someone caught flu at your workplace?

Morally you obviously have a duty of care, and I would urge your managers/directors to do the right thing and furlough them. Financially it is pretty much the same to have the person on SSP than it is to have them on furlough. And legally you cannot force a person to work when it is unsafe for them to do so.

thanks 1 user thanked CptBeaky for this useful post.
A Kurdziel on 07/01/2021(UTC)
Roundtuit  
#8 Posted : 07 January 2021 15:21:18(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

Last updated 31st December 2020.

Clinically extremely vulnerable people should not go to the workplace if they live or work in areas where shielding advice is active.

​​​​​​​If you have concerns you can get advice on your specific situation and your employment rights by visiting the Acas website or calling the Acas helpline on 0300 123 1100.

If you cannot make alternative arrangements, your employer may be able to furlough you under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which has been extended until the end of April 2021.

Roundtuit  
#9 Posted : 07 January 2021 15:21:18(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

Last updated 31st December 2020.

Clinically extremely vulnerable people should not go to the workplace if they live or work in areas where shielding advice is active.

​​​​​​​If you have concerns you can get advice on your specific situation and your employment rights by visiting the Acas website or calling the Acas helpline on 0300 123 1100.

If you cannot make alternative arrangements, your employer may be able to furlough you under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which has been extended until the end of April 2021.

firesafety101  
#10 Posted : 07 January 2021 18:24:27(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

I am an EVP and advised to shield.  I am on old age pension and private pension so do not qualify for any benefits, also self employed and employed as a football club safety steward.

The football club will not furlough me.  They did for one month at the end of last season but nothing after that.  I wrote to ACAS who tried and failed then to my MP who also failed to convince the club to furlough me.

I have worked for them between lock downs but not while shielding.

My self employed work is done at home but that has dried up due to the virus.

You cannot force an employer to use furlough.

firesafety101  
#11 Posted : 07 January 2021 18:35:20(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

Further to my reply, at the beginning of the first lockdown there were a few games to be played, they were postponed and all stewards were furloughed, just for one month.

The local council made work available for the stewards at local waste tips and then Covid testing centre. The stewards were paid by the football club who received that money from the council.  They still work at those places and some will work at vaccination centres.

I chose not to work because of my immunity issue.

The football club states the stewards are working for the council, not the club, even though the wages are paid by the club.

Roundtuit  
#12 Posted : 07 January 2021 19:53:33(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Now that makes for an interesting and separate thread as I doubt any of the stewards will have been issued an employment contract by the council for this work when paid for by the football club.

Given the way LA budgets are run you can bet they are not considered employees by the councils HR Dept.

Roundtuit  
#13 Posted : 07 January 2021 19:53:33(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Now that makes for an interesting and separate thread as I doubt any of the stewards will have been issued an employment contract by the council for this work when paid for by the football club.

Given the way LA budgets are run you can bet they are not considered employees by the councils HR Dept.

SammyK  
#14 Posted : 08 January 2021 15:47:24(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
SammyK

My dad is classed as Clinically Extremly Vulnerable due to the medication he is on for his asthma. In MArch he was sent the letter to shield, because, they recognised that this could have the potential to make him very poorly/death. His work will not recognise the letter from March, Asthma UK have said that he is still ECV and yet he is still waiting for the letter from the government/DRs telling him to shield. His work are saying he is not to shield as he hasnt had the letter and if he does then it will be unauthorised absence and lead to disiplinary. His Manager who is telling him this is the husband of the HR director... Has anyone any thoughts on this please?

Kate  
#15 Posted : 08 January 2021 15:51:13(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Kate

I suggest he call ACAS for advice.

Roundtuit  
#16 Posted : 08 January 2021 16:29:04(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Call NHS 111 - when Mrs R thought she had symptoms they also took her email address - now Matt Hancocks letters appear in her in-box within hours of any TV announcement.

Roundtuit  
#17 Posted : 08 January 2021 16:29:04(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Call NHS 111 - when Mrs R thought she had symptoms they also took her email address - now Matt Hancocks letters appear in her in-box within hours of any TV announcement.

firesafety101  
#18 Posted : 11 January 2021 15:46:14(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

My letters always arrive by email about one week after the latest rules begin, then about two weeks after that the postman delivers my paper copy.

RuthUK  
#19 Posted : 18 January 2021 04:00:01(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
RuthUK

Have you heard about face to face training? It's more like distance learning. There are plenty of online courses nowadays to study from. don't you agree? These training courses are pretty much great to study because u can study from home and still work too. 

Roundtuit  
#20 Posted : 18 January 2021 08:30:59(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Reported
thanks 2 users thanked Roundtuit for this useful post.
Alan Haynes on 18/01/2021(UTC), Alan Haynes on 18/01/2021(UTC)
Roundtuit  
#21 Posted : 18 January 2021 08:30:59(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Reported
thanks 2 users thanked Roundtuit for this useful post.
Alan Haynes on 18/01/2021(UTC), Alan Haynes on 18/01/2021(UTC)
Lauren3101  
#22 Posted : 18 January 2021 09:42:35(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
Lauren3101

Originally Posted by: hardworkingdude Go to Quoted Post

Very similar to the above is our situation, however my thoughts are that we owe a duty of care to the employee. Whilst the business doesn't want to furlough for some reason and the employee doesn't want to be on SSP, if he eventually did get the virus and potentially get hospitalised, would we not get some recrimination for breaching said duty of care?

I think that's the big question and I don't know if any of us really know the answer at this stage. I'm sure this has already been considered but I'll say it just in case - if furlough or SSP are not options, is there anything that can be done to make their workplace safer? Can their role be done at home, or in an office/room on their own? Can there be a tighter cleaning regime, daily fogging, perhaps? Could they even do a different role for the time being, something that would allow them to be more isolated? 

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