New regulations came into force on 28 September 2020 which made self-isolation a legal requirement and introduced fines for businesses and individuals who are found to have broken the rules.
The regulations require anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 to self-isolate for 10 days. Any individual who has been notified by NHS Test and Trace that they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive COVID-19 will also need to self-isolate for 14 days.
Workers who are self-isolating will be required to report this to their employer as soon as reasonably practicable. This must be no later than the next working day. A failure to do so may result in a fine of £50. An employer who is aware of his employee’s requirement to self-isolate must not allow that worker to come to work. Any employee or employer who fails to adhere to the above may be liable for an offence or a fine ranging from £1,000 to £10,000 for repeat offences.
Individuals who are required to self-isolate, who are on lower incomes, who cannot work from home and have lost income as a result, will be supported by payments of £500. The support payment schemes are expected to be put in place by Local Authorities by 12 October 2020.
The regulations also give enforcement powers to police officers who may use reasonable force, if necessary, to remove a person and place them back to their place of self-isolation.
The strict enforcement powers and offences have come into force as the rate of infections has started to rise again, prompting fears of a second wave.
Restrictions on specific localities across the country have been implemented alongside these regulations to curb the rising rate of infections. The Regulations apply to England only at this stage but are expected to be replicated in the rest of the UK.
The regulations referred to is The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation) (England) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/1045).
For more information or advice for your business on your obligations or the obligations of your employees, please contact a member of our specialist employment law team by contacting them directly. You can also call us on 0115 9 100 200 or click here to send an email.
Posted on September 30, 2020