Employers who force or allow staff (including agency workers) to come into the workplace when they should be self-isolating will face fines of between £1,000 and £10,000. Even where an employer is not forcing the employee to come to work, simply allowing them to come into the workplace is an offence, and it is therefore important that employers take proactive action.
Employees legally must inform their employer when they are told to self-isolate, as soon as practicable and before they are next expected at the workplace. Employees who fail to do so could face a separate fine.
This includes workers who have not themselves tested positive but who live with somebody who has.
A £500 support grant is available for people on low income who lose income while self-isolating. To be eligible, workers must be unable to work from home and in receipt of Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit. The grant will be paid on top of Statutory Sick Pay or benefits.