FAQ: Coronavirus

What should I do if I am travelling abroad?

The first step is to review travel plans in terms of what is essential and what isn’t especially if it involves travel to an affected area. Eliminate the risk as far as much as you can and consider whether trips need to be cancelled or rescheduled.

For travel that can’t be cancelled or rescheduled, as an employer, we have a duty to assess the risks of travelling and working in other countries, regardless of whether there is an acute situation as is the case with COVID-19, currently. Travel plans should always consider personal safety and security and health guidelines for the destination of travel. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office publish up to date travel advice and this should be regularly checked in relation to COVID-19.

Please check https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus BEFORE any travel

If you are travelling to any of the areas listed in the above link please contact HR PRIOR to returning to work

I have been told to self-isolate, will I get paid?

On 26 February 2020, the Health Secretary Matt Hancock made it clear that those who were staying away from work as a result of medical advice to self-isolate were doing so for ‘medical reasons’ and therefore should receive sick pay.

We would advise that the approach advocated by the government is correct and employees who have been advised to self-isolate in line with government guidelines, should be treated as on sick leave and paid SSP as per your contract.

I have been advised to self-isolate but I feel fine and want to come to work

If you have been advised that you must self-isolate, then you must not come into work as by doing so you could potentially be putting the rest of our employees at risk.

The government position is that self-isolation absence from work is absence for medical reasons and should be treated as sick leave. You should, therefore, be paid SSP as per your contract.

Will I receive more than the normal Statutory Sick Pay?

The government has announced plans to introduce emergency legislation that enables employees to be paid Statutory Sick Pay from day one rather than after three days. Although it has not been specifically confirmed, it is anticipated that this will only apply to coronavirus related sickness absences. The government have stated that this will be a temporary measure which will lapse when it is no longer required. We do not have an implementation date for this change and until this is known, employers are under no obligation to change their SSP payments but we will ensure we continue to review the government guidelines.

If you have any further questions about Coronavirus

The global situation surrounding coronavirus is developing at a rapid pace. It’s always best to keep checking the government’s official guidance (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public) , which is updated daily and frequently under review.

Remember to:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • Put used tissues in the bin immediately
  • Wash hands with soap and water often (or sanitizer gel where this is not available)
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • Avoid touching their eyes, nose or mouth with their hands if they are unclean

What if someone becomes unwell at work

If someone becomes unwell in the workplace and has recently come back from an area affected by coronavirus or is displaying symptoms, they should:

  • get at least 2 metres (7 feet) away from other people
  • go to a room or area behind a closed door, such as a sick bay or staff office
  • avoid touching anything
  • cough or sneeze into a tissue and put it in a bin, or if they do not have tissues, cough and sneeze into the crook of their elbow
  • use a separate bathroom from others, if possible

The unwell person should use their own mobile phone to call either:

  • 111, for NHS advice
  • 999, if they’re seriously ill or injured or their life is at risk

They should tell the operator:

  • their symptoms
  • which country they’ve returned from in the last 14 days

If an employee does not want to go to work

Some people might feel they do not want to go to work if they’re afraid of catching coronavirus.

NCG will listen to any concerns you may have.

If there are genuine concerns, NCG will work with you to try to resolve them to protect the health and safety of you.

If an employee refuses to attend work, it could result in disciplinary action.