Health Protection Regulations usher in a new offence for employers


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Employers all need to be aware of the new Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation) (England) Regulations 2020 which came into force at midnight on Sunday 27th September.

As well as the legal duty on anyone in England who tests positive to self-isolate or face a fine of up to £10,000 there are specific duties relating to employers.

Under the Regulations it is an offence for an employer to knowingly permit a worker (and this extends to agency workers) to attend any place other than where the individual is self-isolating (so if they can work from home they should do so).  This includes individuals who are required to self-isolate because they live with someone who has tested positive.  The worker is under an obligation to notify their employer of their need to self-isolate as soon as reasonably practicable.  In the case of agency workers the obligation will be to inform the agency and the agency will have to supply the self-isolation information to the end user.
The penalty will be £1,000 for a first offence, £2,000 for a second, £4,000 for a third and £10,000 for each subsequent offence.  These fines will be imposed on an employer if it knowingly permits the worker to attend work "without reasonable excuse".
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