head to the Scottish government's website. If you're unable to work because you work in an area where shielding advice is in place, you may be able to get a shielding note to give to your employer. If you work for yourself, you need to follow government guidance on working safely while maintaining a COVID-secure environment. The formal shielding notification you receive will act as evidence for your employer of the Department of Work and Pensions that you are advised to shield and may be eligible for SSP or ESA. As COVID-19 becomes more in control and lockdown restrictions are eased, those of us who have shielded will be invited to transition back into work when it is safe to do so. But what does it mean for shielding employees? The new guidelines say that you can: 1. go outside once a day with members of your household 2. or, if you’re living alone, with one other person from a different household. Scotland has 5 levels of restrictions, called ‘COVID protection levels’. Update to Businesses and premises that must remain closed section. Those affected were advised to stay at home at all times and avoid any face-to-face contact for a period of at least 12 weeks from the day they received their letter. Staff retuning to work after shielding may have specific needs and concerns about their return to the workplace. These should be undertaken well in advance. Your feedback will help us improve this site, Coronavirus (COVID-19): creating and maintaining safer workplaces, Find In Levels 3 and 4 restrictions and closures apply. In Scotland, the advice around shielding has not changed, This means that shielding employees should not be returning to work. For each level, there’s extra advice if you’re considered clinically extremely vulnerable. For people shielding in Scotland, the guidance has not yet changed. We are grateful to the many companies that continue to act responsibly in our shared ambition to create safer workplaces for all. Work colleagues and managers to understand what it may have been like for people who have shielded and how to compassionately welcome them back into the workplace. Since shielding is more for your own good than that of the others around you, the advice on it has always been “advisory”. The thought of returning to work after shielding is likely to affect each of us in different ways. In Scotland, the advice around shielding has not changed. We recognise this continues to be a testing time for business in Scotland. The government has set out a series of steps for relaxing shielding guidance which comes into place from 6 th July and 1 st August. Matters to consider may involve adjusted duties or redeployment, provided staff agree. When at work, you should follow physical distancing advice. Where clinically extremely vulnerable staff are required to shield and are unable to work from home, employers should follow the latest Staff Council guidance on pay (Joint guidance on shielding due to COVID-19 - 23 November 2020) and visit the frequently asked questions around pay for staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. We also use non-essential cookies to help us improve our websites. ©JPIMedia Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved. Said I had spoken to my GP. There is a range of business support available for businesses which are affected by the measures in the strategic framework. Guidance for workers and employers on returning to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic. I was so shocked as I've been stressing the last couple of days. This guidance will be kept under regular review.”, More information on English shielding measures can be found here, This website and its associated newspaper are members of Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO). “If you live alone, you can spend time outdoors with one person from another household. Gov.scot uses cookies which are essential for the site to work. Advice for people who are shielding is to change in the coming month. So in theory, if you have been shielding up until this point, you could opt to return to work, but this will be a deeply personal decision you may want to discuss with family or others that are close to you. Level 0 is the most relaxed, level 4 the strictest. The postcode checker can be used to check a local COVID protection level. Will they have to go back to work now? Phased return to work. Added link to the occupational risk assessment guidance and assessment tool. Please look after yourself and stay home. Those categorised as vulnerable because of an underlying health condition should have received written communication from their GP practice or specialist on how best to protect themselves in March. They don't even want a copy of my letter. This ultimately means that people who have been shielding may be able to start to return to work subject to them being able to observe strict social distancing. If they can continue to work from home, the employer should support this. You can use this note to claim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). This is built around three pillars: The objective of Scotland's Strategic Framework is to set out a sustainable response to the pandemic to be implemented until either a vaccine or highly effective treatments to the virus are developed. From 18 June, if the infection rate is low enough, people shielding will be able to go outside for exercise. Further changes come into effect on August 1, when those who are shielding and unable to work from home can return to work as long as certain protective measures are in place. But she said many … Added links to sport and leisure facilities and general safer workplace guidance. Nicola Sturgeon update: changes to Scotland’s Covid tiers explained after First Minister’s announcement - and latest on Christmas, Coronavirus in Scotland: ‘Covid doesn’t like wrapping paper’ but you should watch your roast potatoes, says Jason Leitch, While Scotland currently sets its own guidance and has so far not changed its stance on shielding, over in England, people who are shielding can now leave their home if they wish, “as long as they are able to maintain strict social distancing.”. This is a duty the law places firmly on employers, so this should be proactively managed. Employees and workers who are no longer shielding may be able to return to the workplace if it's safe. The objective of Scotland's Strategic Framework is to set out a sustainable response to the pandemic to be implemented until either a vaccine or highly effective treatments to the virus are developed. You can access it here. out more about cookies, successful measures to suppress the virus, guidance that promotes Fair and Safe workplaces and sectors, the right structures for workplace regulation, supporting working from home and flexible working where possible. Shielding is a means of protecting society's "extremely vulnerable" from contracting Covid-19. Added link to call centre and customer contact centre environments guidance. People who have been shielding as they slowly start to return to work to feel less anxious and more supported. When a return to work is possible employers must carry out individual risk assessments Employers will need to undertake individual risk assessments to support previously shielding staff to return. If you're shielding, you should not return to work. In Scotland and England, therefore, these workers can attend work, subject to the workplace being made safe for them – discussed below. By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. The protection level tells you what you can and cannot do in that area. If you don’t get a shielding letter after 2 December 2020, the government say you can go to work if you can’t work from home and your workplace is safe enough. Shielding is being paused in England, … Ideally, this should be the same person each time. “People who are shielding remain vulnerable and should continue to take precautions but can now leave their home if they wish, as long as they are able to maintain strict social distancing,” say the Government. Adding links to new guidance on employers page. It’s also recommended that you phone your GP or specialist to discuss this as well. If you can't work from home (I can't) then you should be on fully paid leave. Although the official end to shielding in the UK suggests that employers have the green light to get employees back to work, this does not change an employer's duty to make reasonable adjustments. “If you choose to spend time outdoors, this can be with members of your own household. It’s advised that this is the same person each time. In Scotland, if you are at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus, you are “strongly advised” to shield yourself to reduce your chance of getting the virus. Workplace guidance is underpinned by: People can travel across COVID Protection levels for the purpose of work, though  working from home is default position across all Protection levels for those who can. As for the general population, remote working should remain the default position for those who can do so. The Scottish Government has information to enable you to make informed choices about balancing risk with your health and daily activities including guidance about the conditions for the main shielding categories. Shielding will soon be coming to an end across the UK, after which those who have been shielding will be able to return to work provided their place of work is ‘COVID-19 safe.’ Doctors who have been shielding are feeling concerned about returning to work,1particularly given that working in healthcare carries an increased infection risk. You may feel relief in being able to go back to a sense of normality and to see people, or you may feel anxious and apprehensive to go … There’s also specific advice for … Date construction workers and other industries can return as country eases out of lockdown Nicola Sturgeon announced Scotland’s moved into phase 2 … This means that an employee cannot automatically refuse a reasonable instruction to return to work without a good reason. I’m shielding my child – am I entitled to paid time off work? From August 1 in England, they will no longer be required to stay at home and may be asked to return to work. The Scottish Government has produced a specific ‘Covid-age’ risk assessment tool and this should be used as the basis for assessment of returning staff after shielding. From 10 July those shielding will no longer need to physically distance from people they live with. Today I called work. Those affected will receive a letter from the Chief Medical Officer Dr Gregor Smith outlining new guidelines and the work to be done to move to pausing shielding from 1 August, as long the evidence is clear that it is safe to do so. Scotland says people on the shielding list can follow the same advice as everyone else in their local area, guided by a tier system. On Monday, July 6, those shielding can gather with up to six people outdoors, and form a support bubble with another household. In this public health crisis, it is vital that all businesses act responsibly and align fully with published guidance. Further information on workplaces that must close and workplaces that can remain open with working from home the default position can be found at COVID-19 Level 4; this includes information on those workplaces supporting Critical National Infrastructure. out more about cookies, Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you need to know. Anyone who's been shielding should talk to their employer as soon as possible about plans to help them return. Updated to incorporate information from business physical distancing guide. If you work in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland please refer to your own country’s advice pages. Returning to the workplace after shielding. The Scottish Government are asking people to keep shielding until at least the end of July, and will continue to support those who are shielding until at least the end of that month. Changes to shielding advice in Scotland. Accessing COVID-secure precautions Employers should ensure all workers, including those in higher-risk groups, are able to access all the protections that are necessary, eg during night shifts, when working remotely or working alone. Carers are able to continue to visit but must follow guidelines, and those without a care network close by can make use of a national support system, including pharmacists, supermarkets and local authorities. The thought of returning to work after shielding is likely to affect each of us in different ways. COVID protection levels are subject to regular review. For more information on shielding in Scotland, head to the Scottish government's website. People should work from home if possible, and your employer is expected to help you to do so. Paul Holcroft, associate director at Croner, said communication was crucial for employers to ensure any staff who had been shielding felt safe returning to work. Up to 2 million extremely vulnerable people shielding in England must not be forced to return to their workplaces, trade unions have declared, … In Wales, the advice is slightly different, suggesting people who are shielding can take unlimited exercise and meet people fro… Those who are shielding also get a phone number to ring if they need support accessing food or medicine. If you haven’t got a letter but think you should because you’re in a tier 3 area, ask your GP or hospital clinician. If infection rates in Scotland are low enough, a change to the guidance could be announced on 18 June. Returning to work after shielding: guide for individuals As COVID-19 becomes more under control and lockdown restrictions are eased, those of us who have shielded maybe invited to transition back into work when it is safe to do so. See travel restrictions for further information about travelling around Scotland. These have local rules for everyone. The Framework covers the four key harms of the virus, how we will work to suppress the virus, and sets out our proposal to move to a strategic approach to outbreak management based on five levels of protection. A teacher who was previously shielding has been told to stay on the front line during the latest restrictions, despite pupils in the same position being allowed to work at home. Any data collected is anonymised. ... Read our advice on shielding, your rights and home working, and what to do if family members have been told to shield. They confirmed if I was shielding and said no problem stay safe. You do not need to get a return to work note from your GP or care provider. A ‘phased return to work’ is when someone who’s been absent might need to … In England – where lockdown measures have been eased at a much faster rate than in Scotland – changes come into force today (1 June). “Shielding is for your personal protection,” say the Scottish Government; “It’s your choice to decide whether to follow these measures.”. People who have been advised to shield can start taking steps to spend time safely outdoors. This means that shielding employees should not be returning to work. You should continue to work from home if you can. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said level four lockdown does not mean a return to strict protective shielding for vulnerable people. On 31stMay, the shielding guidelines in England were eased slightly. The strategy called "shielding" means to stay at home at all times and the aim is to protect lives. Get a shielding note if you cannot work. As outlined in our route map we have and continue to take an evidence-led transparent and phased approach to Scotland’s economic restart and recovery. The Framework covers the four key harms of the virus, how we will work to suppress the virus, and sets out our proposal to move to a strategic approach to outbreak management based on five … Guidelines for staying safe during COVID-19 are changing all the time. Shielding will continue until at least July 31 in Scotland and August 16 in Wales. Going to work. If you do go out, you should take extra care to minimise contact with others by keeping two metres apart. Instead, leaving the house remains advised against, even to go out for shopping, leisure or travel or to pick up food and medication deliveries. Elsewhere, subject to advice from the Chief Medical Officer, high-risk employees in Wales can potentially return to the workplace from 16 August, while Scotland has extended its advice to shield until at least 31 July, with no indication yet as to what will happen after this date. Coronavirus in Scotland LIVE as 14 people die and 499 confirmed cases What is 'shielding'? If you cannot work from home, you can go to your workplace if it's safe for you to do so. Find As to whether you can furlough these workers, simply because they live with someone who is shielding, one set of government guidance on the extended furlough scheme does indicate that you can furlough workers who need to stay at home with someone … Are essential for the general population, remote working should remain the default position those... Site, you can go to your workplace if it 's safe, coronavirus ( COVID-19 ) what., level 4 the strictest in this public health crisis, it is that. 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