Back
Get in Touch Menu

Self isolation rules end – what's next for employers?

18 March 2022

Thursday 24 February saw the end of all COVID self-isolation rules in England, meaning that there is now no legal requirement to isolate following a positive COVID test result.

As a result, many employers are asking whether or not they can stop employees from attending the workplace if they test positive, even if they are not legally required to isolate.

All employers have a duty to protect the health and safety of their employees by providing a safe working environment, so it wouldn’t be unreasonable to ask employees to stay away from the workplace if they test positive for COVID. This is especially true if they’re able to work from home, so will still receive full pay.

However, if a COVID-positive employee is not able to work from home and is ready and willing to work from the workplace, but you do not want them to attend, you should consider agreeing to pay the employee in full for the time you require them to isolate for.

You may also consider extending these isolation rules to employees who have other ‘infectious’ illnesses, such as colds and flu, to prevent the spread of illnesses throughout your workforce, and to further protect the health and safety of your staff.

It’s also worth noting that because the government has stated that free mass testing will end on 1 April, employees will be less likely to know if they have COVID. This, in turn, will increase the chance of employees attending work with COVID. You may, therefore, wish to pay for your employees to be tested to minimise this risk.

In addition, you should consider maintaining social distancing and other precautions, such as providing face masks and plenty of hand sanitiser for staff to use. Doing this will help you to provide a safe working environment in accordance with your health and safety obligations.

We’re here to help

Email Jenny

Jenny is a partner in our Legal 500-rated employment law team. She helps clients with a range of employment-related matters, from contracts and general employee relations, to tribunal proceedings and TUPE.

Disclaimer: All legal information is correct at the time of publication but please be aware that laws may change over time. This article contains general legal information but should not be relied upon as legal advice. Please seek professional legal advice about your specific situation - contact us; we’d be delighted to help.
Contact
Jenny Hawrot LLB (Hons)
Partner
View profile
Jenny Hawrot
Related services
Share this article
Resources to help

Related articles

Flexible working is here to stay from 6 April 2024

Employment & business immigration

From 6 April, flexible working laws are changing, making it easier for employees to make statutory flexible working requests. The Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act 2023 will make the following…

Hayley Ainsworth BA, MSc
Associate, solicitor

Business Immigration: Significant changes to take place in April 2024

Employment & business immigration

Last December, the Home Secretary announced a five-point plan to reduce immigration in the UK, with most measures to be implemented early this year. Tomorrow, these significant changes to business…

Klára Grmelová MGR (LLM Czech)
Solicitor

Constructive dismissal & delayed resignation

Employment & business immigration

Constructive dismissal and delayed resignation can prove to be difficult situations for some employers. Our team of experts look into a case that could help when looking to tackle issues…

Hayley Ainsworth BA, MSc
Associate, solicitor
Contact us