As of 30 November 2021, new COVID restrictions apply following the identification of the Omicron variant in the UK.
Changes to self-isolation rules
Anyone contacted by Test and Trace and identified as a contact of someone who has tested positive for the new Omicron variant, is required to self-isolate for 10 days. This rule applies to all individuals, including children, and even those who are fully vaccinated.
Changes to face-covering rules
Everyone is required to wear face coverings in “shops” and on public transport unless they are medically exempt. “Shops” are widely defined and include shopping centres, hairdressers, supermarkets, travel agents etc, but not hospitality settings such as pubs and restaurants.
What does this mean for employers?
The government has said that there is no need to impose a new work from home rule at the moment. However, employers will inevitably see more of their staff having to self-isolate and unable to attend the workplace. Staff who are required to self-isolate should be allowed to work from home where this is possible. It is an offence for an employer to allow a worker to attend the workplace if they are aware that the worker is legally required to self-isolate.
If you do require any further advice on this issue or any other employment law concern, please contact our employment law specialist Rebecca Ellerbeck at Rowberrys on 01344 959166.