The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation) (England) Regulations 2020 come into force today (in England) and last for 12 months. They apply to those who have tested positive to coronavirus or have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus after 28 September 2020.
A worker (including an agency worker) must notify their employer (or the agency) of their requirement to self-isolate, together with the start and end dates of the isolation period. This information must be given as soon as reasonably practicable and before the worker is due to start work. Failure to comply with the requirement to self-isolate without reasonable excuse is an offence which can be prosecuted by the local authority or Crown Prosecution Service. Where an offence is committed, the individual is liable for a fixed penalty notice of £50.
Where an employer is aware that a worker (or agency worker) is required to self-isolate, it is also an offence for the employer (without reasonable excuse) to knowingly allow that worker to attend any place (other than where they are required to self-isolate), for any purpose connected to their employment, for the duration of the isolation period.
An employer who breaches this requirement is liable for a fixed penalty notice and a fine of £1,000 for the first offence (increasing up to a maximum of £10,000 for the fourth or any subsequent penalty notices issued). Where the offence is committed with the consent, connivance or negligence of an officer of the Company (e.g. Director), the officer (as well as the Company) is liable to be prosecuted and fined.
This is only intended to be a summary and not specific legal advice. If you would like further information or advice about managing your workforce during these unprecedented times, please do contact a member of our employment law team.
Coronavirus Self-Isolation Regulations https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/1045/made