The government announced this week that a further 1.7 million people in England are being asked to shield and will be given priority for vaccinations. This is in addition to the 2.3 million that are already shielding. The new group has been determined by modelling that factors in ethnicity, weight, age and health issues to determine potential vulnerability to coronavirus.
Employers will therefore need to consider whether employees that have been told to shield can work from home. If that is not possible, they should not attend work and consideration should be given to alternative roles that may facilitate home working. If there is no alternative, then employees will be entitled to SSP or may be able to furloughed, provided they were on the employer’s payroll before 30 October 2020.
The employment team have been advising regularly on the employment law implications of shielding, its potential impact on household / family members, pay entitlements and issues relating to vaccination rollout. If you require any advice in relation to these matters, or any other employment issues, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with the team anytime with any questions. You can also see all of our Covid updates here.