Elizabeth specialises in education but also writes on many other issues and themes. In the build up, BLOG After an inquiry uncovered evidence of bullying by Home Secretary Priti Patel, the nation waited for Boris Johnson to take action. If this isn’t possible, people can still go to work provided that the workplace is COVID-secure (generally, or specifically for that individual). Around 33 million were working before the covid-19 crisis. 3. Where this isn’t possible, they can attend work in Tiers 1, 2 and 3. Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union is concerned about the need for caution. Teachers classed as 'clinically extremely vulnerable' have been told they can return to work under the government's reformed triple-tier coronavirus restrictions. Just know that if you are worried, your GP, school and union can help. Health Can shielding employees go back to work? Not only that, but they have also been following the latest guidance on distancing, and ensuring as far as is possible during a pandemic where the number of new cases each day is still (at the time of writing) in the thousands rather than hundreds or lower, that staff and pupils are safe. He said that those who can can be encouraged to go back to work. If you are extremely vulnerable, but live with people who are not, they can continue to go into work if they can't work at home. Until then, the charity said it wanted clinically vulnerable people to have the right to work from home. Not only have standard HR processes such as performance management been, BLOG The UK is due to complete its divorce from the EU when the transition period ends on 31 December 2020. Many people have been critical of how late the restrictions were imposed back in March, and many now are critical of the speed and nature of the restrictions being lifted. Clinically vulnerable people in ... concerns that employers will not be held to account if they fail to comply with the Government’s request to support vulnerable employees to return to work. The guidance states that employers are “required to take steps to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19… and should be able to explain to you the measures they have put in place to keep you safe at work.” Making sure your risk assessment is up to date is therefore your first line of defence against refusals to work, as sharing these findings with reluctant staff may help to put their mind at rest or enable you to pinpoint and address specific concerns. If attempts to address concerns fail, or the employee is able to provide specific medical advice confirming that it is not safe for them to be at work, it may be possible to furlough employees who are shielding in accordance with public health guidance. As well as her regular blogs for Eteach and FEjobs, her books have been published by a variety of publishers and translated around the world. This can be achieved through risk assessment, talking to employees and offering changes to working that redeploys CEV staff to tasks where there is less risk, such as clerical work. Anyone who's been shielding should talk to their employer as soon as possible about plans to help them return. Widespread unemployment would be worse for population health than covid -19 The covid-19 pandemic has seen record numbers of people off work. Our dedicated team can support you in finding permanent, long-term or day-to-day supply work for teaching, SEN and support roles both in the UK and international schools. Formerly shielding individuals advised not to attend work during lockdown. If you’re clinically extremely vulnerable You are strongly advised to work from home. England has now emerged from lockdown and re-entered a system of tiered restrictions. See Eteach's blogs on helping your anxiety surrounding COVID-19. No one could deny that messages have at times been confused and confusing, which tends to focus our minds on the core pieces of information that we need. The government guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable says that everyone, including CEV employees, should work from home where possible. Of course, as with the rest of the country, those who are able to work from home should. Search school names, job titles and categories only, 1 Arlington Square, Bracknell, Berkshire RG12 1WA, SCHOOL BUSINESS MANAGEMENT AND FINANCE STAFF, Schools business management and finance staff, advice for schools regarding the safety of staff at higher risk. If furlough isn’t an option, a period of unpaid leave would likely be a more proportionate response than taking disciplinary action. “The employer must do everything that is reasonably practicable to keep CEV workers safe and healthy. Previous government guidance said they should be “offered the option of the safest available on-site roles” which enable them to stay the requisite two metres (or one metre with risk mitigation where two metres is not viable) from others. New rules for business, BLOG Employers’ greatest concern when making redundancies is the legal risk. Clinically extremely vulnerable workers are strongly advised to work from home because the risk of exposure to the virus may be significantly higher. Go straight to our free sector-specific Risk Assessment Templates for Scottish organisations…. job site and start receiving applications today! We combine the service quality of a law firm with the certainty of fixed-fee services to provide expert, solutions-focused Employment Law, HR and Health & Safety support tailored to employers. From the end of July, clinically vulnerable people in England will no longer be asked to stay in their homes and will be able to return to their workplace if they cannot do their job from home, provided social distancing measures are in place. Of those, 9.4 million employees were … Our dedicated team can support you in finding permanent, long-term or day-to-day supply work for teaching, SEN and support roles both in the UK and international schools. Horrible and confusing terminology, but as all diabetics are clinically vulnerable but only those with complication or certain co-morbidites will have been shielding it is an important distinction to make. However, it is important that you carry out a risk assessment and implement steps to reduce the risk faced by these employees. It’s likely that some will be hesitant to return to work, especially in areas where risk is higher, but what does the government guidance state and where do you stand as an employer in these situations? A disabled shop worker who is clinically vulnerable said she has been forced to choose between her work and her health during the coronavirus pandemic after returning to … While businesses and the economy grapple with operating as profitably as possible during a pandemic, schools have faced some seemingly impossible challenges of getting as many pupils as possible back into the classroom. Will health and safety change after Brexit? Can I refuse to return to work if my commute forces me to take public transport? See all vacancies here. When the second national lockdown came into force, extremely vulnerable school staff were advised to work from home. Year in review | 12 employment law updates you might have missed in 2020. If an employee is refusing to return because he or she lives with someone who is vulnerable or extremely clinically vulnerable, the risk for employers is that the employee claims that returning to work poses a risk to their health and safety. In Scotland, the advice remains that CEV individuals should work from home if they can. If you're at high risk (clinically extremely vulnerable) from coronavirus (COVID-19), there are things you can do to help keep yourself safe. While life can be shut down overnight, any return to anything resembling normality must necessarily be gradual and methodical – this much we know from the scientists. BLOG From policies and training to risk assessment, safe systems of work and safety culture, there are many interrelated components to effective health and safety management. If this isn’t possible, people can still go to work provided that the workplace is COVID-secure (generally, or specifically for that individual). If you have reached an impasse with a vulnerable employee, our combination of Employment Law and Health & Safety support can help you to understand your legal options, ensure you undertaken appropriate risk assessments and implemented all reasonable precautions, and facilitate a safe return to work. As part of this exercise, employers could list the categories of people in the vulnerable group and explain that current advice is that they can return to work (if they can’t work from home) and ask them to contact HR so that it can consider their individual circumstances before a decision about whether it’s safe for them to do so is reached. There is some general advice for everyone at high risk, as well as extra advice depending on where you live. Of course, high-risk staff may insist that they don’t feel safe to return despite you having taken all reasonably practicable precautions to ensure their safety. If you are concerned about making a return to work during the coronavirus pandemic, these sources of support may help: With a new virus, the learning curve is steep and ongoing. As such, forcing a return may leave you exposed to discrimination claims. Asthma UK have updated their guidance on this & … Therefore, schools must ensure that sufficient steps have been taken to prevent CEV workers from being exposed to COVID-19. When the second national lockdown came into force, extremely vulnerable school staff were advised to work from home. Keep in mind that under Section 44 of the Employment Rights Act 1996, employees have the right not to be subjected to any detriment on the grounds that, “in circumstances of danger which the employee reasonably believed to be serious and imminent”, they left or refused to return to their place of work. However, the government has published new social distancing guidance which suggests that, where it is not possible for these individuals to work from home, they can go to work. To coincide with this change, the government has published updated shielding guidance which applies as of 2 December. While, officially, the situations where an employee should avoid work due to their vulnerable status are therefore limited, employers should prepare for resistance from anxious employees, or possibly employees who are trying their luck. Can a shielding (extremely clinically vulnerable) employee now return to work in a Special School? Post your vacancy on the UK's leading education Use this risk assessment template to ensure that any potential hazards to which vulnerable employees are exposed are evaluated and managed. While no one can sensibly guarantee safety, it may be possible to further mitigate risk for the clinically vulnerable and, perhaps most importantly, help everyone to feel safe and supported at work. However, in the week prior to the tier system returning, the Department for Education updated its guidance to state that, from 2 December, “all staff can continue to attend school in all three local restriction tiers.”, However, it adds that schools in Tier 3 areas “may wish to discuss flexibilities that support clinically extremely vulnerable staff, such as staggered start times to reduce travel during rush hour.”, Head of Ellis Whittam’s Education Team, Jane Hallas, says that despite the DfE’s position, schools have a responsibility to weigh up risk: “We are conscious that schools are receiving potentially conflicting messages about whether CEV staff can return to the workplace on 2 December. Scotland | How will a Level 4 lockdown impact employers. However, a school is unlike many sectors where this is actually feasible, unless that is, by delivering remote virtual lessons to children. On the first day of phased return, Sky News shared footage of people crammed into a London bus. IOSH Managing Health & Safety Risks in the Education Sector, shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable, guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19, guidance on protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable from coronavirus (COVID-19), Health and Safety Management Systems | Employer FAQ. Free advertising! Relatively little is known about this virus and its mutations, and although the evidence around whether children pass the virus to adults is growing, schools must still consider adult to adult infection. Do not have a right to work from home, you should not attend in! 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