As Covid-19 restrictions continue to impact on our normal working lives, there may be occasions when employees may be asked to shield due to being clinically vulnerable and at risk of becoming ill from Coronavirus. The NHS has sent notification via letter to those who must shield during the COVID pandemic. Employers who have employees who have been informed to shield, should continue to stay up to date with legislation and guidance from government on shielding.
An employee who has been informed to shield is likely be protected by The Equality Act 2010 and therefore, the employer should ensure that they do not discriminate against that employee. For example, treating that employee differently because the employee is shielding. The employer should ensure reasonable adjustments are in place to support the employee, both in the workplace and home-working if feasible.
If the employee is unable to carry out normal duties from home, the employer could consider giving the employee an alternative role to carry out during the shielding period. If this is not possible, the employer should consider utilising the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for that employee which has now been extended to 30 April 2021.