NHS test and trace workplace guidance published
The Department of Health and Social Care has published workplace guidance on the NHS test and trace service.
The service will provide testing for anyone with Covid-19 symptoms, will get in touch with anyone who tests positive to obtain information about their recent contacts and, if necessary, notify those contacts that they need to self-isolate. The period of self-isolation will be for 14 days from the point of the most recent contact with the person who has tested positive for coronavirus.
The guidance (which is for employers in England) asks employers to help manage transmission of the virus by ensuring their workplaces are as safe as possible, encouraging staff to act on any self-isolation notification and offering them support while in self-isolation.
The guidance states that employers should continue to communicate with workers in self-isolation and provide support. This will include allowing people to work from home if they remain well and if it is practicable to do so. This might include finding alternative work that can be completed at home during the period of self-isolation.
If employees can't work from home, then employers need to ensure that any self-isolating employee is receiving sick pay and give them the option to use their paid leave days if they prefer.
The NHS test and trace service will provide a notification that can be used as evidence that someone has been told to self-isolate.
The Statutory Sick Pay (General) (Coronavirus Amendment) (No.4) Regulations 2020 extend entitlement to statutory sick pay to those who have been told to isolate under the new Test and Trace system.
A person who has been notified that they have had contact with a person with coronavirus and who has to self-isolate for 14 days as a result will be entitled to statutory sick pay.