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GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT COVID-19 AND THE WORKPLACE Should I require my employees be tested for COVID-19 before they can work? [Company] considers the health and safety of our employees and their families our priority. If you have been working from home during the lockdown and continued to whilst COVID-19 restrictions are in place, you could use this to prove that remote working is feasible in your workplace. Template and instructions to create a welcome back letter for employees after COVID-19 COVID-19 As states and districts gradually lift and reduce their shelter-at-home or similar orders, employees who have been working from home are beginning to return to the workplace. The Prime Minister has been asked about parents who are asked to return to work, but have no childcare. This protection from being treated unfavourably or being dismissed comes from sections 44 and 100 of the Employment Rights Act 1996. If you think that your commute places you in serious and imminent danger because of coronavirus, you might be able to refuse to travel to and from work. In this case, the protections described above (‘I was previously told by the NHS to shield because I am clinically extremely vulnerable to COVID-19. 2. It is worth remembering though, that this protection was designed for extreme health and safety emergencies, it was not designed with COVID-19 in mind and its application to the current pandemic is therefore, as yet, untested in the courts. If you are an employer that has offered regular work, at the same rate of pay that they were working prior to COVID-19, to an employee that was temporarily laid-off or furloughed, and the employee has refused to return to work, you MUST report this activity to the Department of Labor. However, they are not obligated to do so. If the employee has not exhibited any symptoms associated with COVID-19 during the self-quarantine, the employer may allow the employee to return to work. This effect must be expected to last at least 12 months. • If you develop flu or other symptoms including dry cough and fever, please contact your medical provider, and do not come to work. If you agree with your employer’s proposed changes, you can tell them this. This could form an extension of the current framework for the testing of essential workers and members of their household, and will mean every employer implementing a systematic approach for their workforce. 1 Ontario and Newfoundland require return to work “within a reasonable time after being requested to do so” by the employer. ... COVID-19 Symptoms: Employees with symptoms of COVID should self quarantine and consult with their physicians. For example, is there anything you could do to reduce the risk to the person who is, or was previously shielding, and still go to work (such as following the government advice for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable)? Template and instructions to create a welcome back letter for employees after COVID-19 COVID-19 As states and districts gradually lift and reduce their shelter-at-home or similar orders, employees who have been working from home are beginning to return to the workplace. If you are clinically vulnerable, you should follow the government advice and employers should take steps to protect you in the workplace. We will all continue to navigate and learn within the landscape of COVID-19. Not only will this enable you to produce the notes at a quicker rate, but it will also help you maintain consistency between documents. This must: We have made a template letter to help you make this initial request. You can refer to section 44 of the Employment Rights Act, but you don’t have to. More information on the law and flexible working is available here. With that in See our questions on taking time off work if someone in your household is extremely vulnerable, or if you cannot work for caring commitments for more information. Dear [Insert Employee Name] You are receiving this letter because the COVID-19 Secondary Screening records indicate that you were denied entry from the work location due to answering yes to one of the secondary screening questions between March and August 16, 2020. Rates of Covid-19 are rising across the country, and no matter where you are, you need to have a plan in place for if and when an employee gets sick or tests positive. The Health and Safety Executive in England have set up a helpline for coronavirus-related health and safety advice. However, your employer will still owe you a duty to protect your health and safety. They will have to conduct a risk assessment, and take reasonable steps to make the workplace safe for you. This means that you have the right to reasonable adjustments, which you could argue should include allowing you to work from home, although again this is untested in relation to COVID-19. If you do not feel safe returning work, you could refuse to work until these concerns are addressed. WFH v The Workplace. If you bring a claim against your employer because they have not followed the flexible working procedure, this can sometimes be combined with other claims. Where working from home is not possible, workplaces should make every effort to comply with the social distancing guidelines set out by the government. If informal discussions or putting in a grievance does not work, then you could think about bringing a claim against your employer. You should check your employer’s policies on leave. Some employees may be eager to return to … Other helpful tips for negotiating flexible working are available on our website. The danger can also include danger caused by the behaviour of work colleagues. Treating you “unfavourably” could mean a wide range of things, including refusing you a promotion, disciplining you, or giving you fewer hours of work (if you are on a contract with variable hours) when you return to work. Guidelines for returning to work continue to evolve; continue to monitor our Small Business COVID-19 Resource Center for updates. If you do not want to return to work, there are a number of arguments you can make to your employer. A letter of intent to return to work is written by an employee to let an employer know that they’re ready to return to work after a period of sickness, surgery, or injury. SAMPLE RETURN TO WORK POLICY (DETAILED)* General Principles: 1. The government’s advice is that businesses and workplaces should make every possible effort to enable working from home as a first option. In England, from 5 January 2021, as part of the national lockdown, those who are clinically extremely vulnerable should only go out of the home for medical appointments. Your employer can only change fundamental aspects of your employment contract, like your pay or your working hours, with your agreement. 0lœøŐó¢¶6æ\åH :Ä~åb¿»‘†™:„=ïW¤B“Ï°7]!q If you are ‘disabled’ under the Equality Act 2010, your employer has to make reasonable adjustments for you. It applies to employees, and potentially workers (the Act only refers to ’employees’, but EU case law suggests workers could also protected by this right). See the FAQ on taking time off work to look after someone who depends on you. That way, employers and other medical practitioners can ea… Otherwise, you might be able to take some kind of paid or unpaid leave. [Company] considers the health and safety of our employees and their families our priority. However, if you refused to come to work because you reasonably believed there was a serious and imminent danger to yourself or others and it could not be controlled, and your employer dismissed you for this reason, then you may have a claim for automatic unfair dismissal (section 100 Employment Rights Act 1996). One way for them to fulfill this duty would be to make reasonable adjustments for you in the workplace. However, if you feel that your employer has not seriously considered your request or failed to follow the correct procedure, you may be able to bring a claim at the Employment Tribunal. Otherwise, you might be able to take some kind of paid or unpaid leave. Return to on-site work Translated attestation and return-to-work forms The Workday Working On-Site COVID-19 Symptom Attestation and the COVID-19 Employee Symptom Attestation policy have been translated into the following languages and are current as of July 15, 2020: This document reviewed as of March 4, 2020 and is subject to change at any time. If you live in an area not under lockdown or where shielding is not active, then your employer can ask you to return to the workplace (if you cannot work from home). if you have received a letter from the NHS telling you to shield), your underlying condition means that you are ‘disabled’ under the Equality Act 2010. As above, you should make sure that this agreement is in writing, and that it says you only agree to the reduction in hours or pay for the duration of lockdown. But, they’re not alone. There is more information on these different options on our employment rights and coronavirus page. The guidance is different for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. (3) provide employers information on how COVID-19 exposure or infection in the workplace may impact operations. This is also a very serious step – you should seek legal advice if you are considering making a claim. Track the number of days that exposed employees stay home to make sure they do not come back to work too soon. Whether an employee has a protected right to refuse to work, or refuse to return to work, because of safety concerns related to COVID-19 will turn, in most cases, on whether the conduct constitutes protected concerted activity under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). only for the duration of any local or national COVID-19 restrictions), you should make this clear to your employer. Everyone must work from home if this is impossible, you should do so to Friday 8:30am to.... You think it would be successful not considered part of your workplace could be covered by this is. 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