The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions)(Self Isolation)(England) Regulations 2020

The government have announced new rules for employers in England concerning how to manage staff who have;

  1. Tested positive for Coronavirus and need to self-isolate.
  2. Are required to self-isolate because they live with someone or have come into close contact with a person who has tested positive.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions)(Self Isolation)(England) Regulations 2020 came into force on 28thSeptember 2020 and provide that it is now unlawful to allow a PA to attend work when it is known that the worker has tested positive or that they live with someone who has.

Allowing or forcing a worker to continue working when you know they should be self-isolating is an offence punishable by a fixed penalty notice of £1,000. The fine may increase up to £10,000 for repeat offenders.

Employed PAs are now under a legal obligation to self-isolate where they have been informed they have a positive case of Coronavirus or they live (or have been in close contact with someone) who has.   They are also legally required to notify you that this is the case.   Failure to do so is an offence punishable by a fixed penalty notice of £50. 

This rule applies to your own employees, casual workers and agency workers who you may have appointed. 

SSP continues to apply for employees who are self-isolating due to a positive test or because they live with someone who has tested positive (or been in close contact with someone who has).  

When Covid-19 SSP doesn’t apply 

We have recently received a number of enquiries about SSP eligibility for other Coronavirus related absences and feel it is necessary to point out that;

  • PAs returning to the UK from certain countries who are required to quarantine for 14 days do not qualify for SSP.  
  • PAs unable to work because they need to care for a child who has been asked to stay at home by their school are also not eligible for SSP (unless the child themself has tested positive).  

Test And Trace Support Payment

From 28th September, across England, the £500 Test and Trace Support Payment may apply for those PAs who are on low incomes and receive benefits (assuming they cannot work from home). This payment will help to ensure that PAs are able to take the time off that they need to keep the virus from spreading. 

PAs will be eligible if they;

  • have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace
  • are employed or self-employed

are claiming at least one of the following benefits: universal credit, working tax credit, income-related employment and support allowance, income-based jobseekers allowance, income support, pension credit or housing benefit.

The Rest Of The UK

  • It is envisaged that the new fines will be replicated in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.