The last few weeks of 2021 proved to be another very uncertain time for us all, given the emergence of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. December also saw some significant changes to the rules relating to self-isolation and where people can work.
A mixed bag of news…
It has proved controversial, but the government have reintroduced guidance requiring people to work from home if they can. As things stand, we do not know for how long this guidance will remain in place. No doubt, the government will keep the situation under review.
On a slightly more positive note, from 22 December 2021, those employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 will only be required to self-isolate for a maximum of seven days (previously 10 days), subject to them (i) taking negative lateral flow tests on days 6 and 7 of their isolation period and (ii) not having a fever/high temperature.
Whilst it is now possible that employees can end their self-isolation period after 7 days, employers need to tread carefully. Government guidance still ‘strongly advises’ such people to limit close contact with those outside their household and to work from home (if they are able to do so) for at least a further 3 days. As a result, employers should be careful about being too quick to allow recently infected employees to return to the workplace.
Want to know more?
Further and more detailed guidance on the current self-isolation rules can be found via the link below:
All employers need to keep a close eye on these rules, as there is still the prospect of further changes in this area over the coming weeks and months.