Covid-19: New Coronavirus Regulations now in force

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation) (England) Regulations 2020 came into force in England at midnight. The Regulations confirm and set out the rules regarding mandatory periods of self-isolation following the rollout of the NHS contact tracing app. The Regulations also increase the level of fines for failing to comply with the self-isolation rules to as much as £10,000 for repeat offences or serious breaches.

The Regulations make it an offence for an employer to knowingly allow a worker or agency worker who has to self-isolate to attend any place for work during the isolation period for any purpose related to the worker’s employment. This means that employers who are aware that a worker has tested positive is now responsible for stopping that individual from working, unless they can do so from home. The rules includes individuals who have not tested positive themselves but need to self-isolate because they live with someone who has tested positive.

It is important for employers to abide by these new rules or they could face a fine. Fines start at £1,000 and go up to £10,000 for repeat breaches. There is an obligation on the worker to tell their employer if they are required to self-isolate and they will be in breach of the regulations if they fail to do so. Employers may wish to update their own internal procedures to reiterate to employees that they are required to make their employer aware if they have been instructed to self-isolate.

If you have any questions or need any advice about your obligations as an employer, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our employment law team