Removing legal requirements to self-isolate and inform employers
All legal requirements to self-isolate following a positive test or close contact with someone who has tested positive were ended on 24 February. This was replaced with guidance advising that those who test positive should stay at home and avoid contact with others, particularly those in high-risk groups. Contacts of those who have tested positive will be advised to take ‘precautions’, which will be set out in additional guidance. Employees are no longer under a legal obligation to inform their employer that they have tested positive for Covid.
It is expected that the workplace guidance will be updated shortly and is likely to require that employees are allowed to remain at home if they test positive. As has been the case previously, where employers divert from the position in the guidance, this will increase the risk of claims from employees and would certainly make it more difficult to discipline employees for refusing to come to work.