Friday, 29 October 2021 13:22

Covid Responsibilities Reminder

With new Covid-19 cases hovering around the 40,000 per day mark over the past few weeks, we are frankly reminded that we remain in the midst of a pandemic. Despite the vaccine rollout vastly reducing the number of infected individuals requiring hospitalisation, positive test results still require isolation and are therefore a potential disrupter for businesses.

It’s important then that employers are clear what action they must take or instructions they should issue, if an employee informs them that they have symptoms or have tested positive for Covid-19; or live with a family member who has tested positive.

We must still adhere to the Government guidance. If an employee experiences Covid symptoms or has a positive result from a Lateral Flow Test, then self-isolation is required and a PCR test should be taken; either at a testing centre or arranging to have one delivered to home. A positive PCR test will require 10 days isolation from the date that symptoms began or the date of the positive test.

Employees who share a home with someone who has tested positive do not need to self-isolate if they have had both of their vaccination injections, and on the basis that they do not test positive themselves of course.
If your employee is isolating, then they can work from home if they are able and they feel well enough to do so. If their job means that they cannot work from home, or if they feel too unwell to do so, then they should be placed on sick leave.

Whilst the Government continues to resist calls to implement “Plan B”, it is vital that we maintain appropriate behaviour, not only to reduce the spread of the virus, but to keep our own businesses, and the general economy, performing effectively.

Working from home remains an option for some of course but it doesn’t suit everybody or all businesses. We should consider a range of actions and practices that we can implement to keep our businesses productive whilst keeping everybody safe which don’t necessarily have to cost anything. For example:

  • Implement a mask wearing policy when moving between rooms or in a common areas such as a the kitchen or meeting room
  • Employees cleaning down their desks or workstations at the end of each day or shift with anti-bacterial wipes
  • Use screens between work stations or desks
  • First in/Last out team member to clean down door handles and common touch points
  • Requesting that all employees take voluntary lateral flow tests at least twice per week
  • Measure employees’ temperature daily upon arrival and referring to a lateral flow test if their temperature is high
  • Develop a company culture where there is no stigma attached to employees reporting that they feel unwell or under the weather
  • If working from home is an option, plan a shift or rota system so that one infection doesn’t impact the whole team
  • Encourage vaccinations of course, and also seasonal flu vaccinations, and offer staff paid time-off to get them done

It’s plainly on the Government agenda to resist a return to the placing of restrictions on peoples’ freedoms. For our part, as we learn to live in the presence of Covid-19 it’s incumbent on us all to behave responsibly and protect our families, friends and colleagues. After all, no-one wants to see Christmas cancelled again.

For support or advice on implementing policies and procedures or for anything else HR or Employment Law related, call us on 01452 331331 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Call us on 01452 331331 or drop us an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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