Our Advice on Lockdown 3.0
With effect from 6 January, people must stay at home unless there is a “reasonable excuse” to be out. This includes:
- shopping for basic necessities;
- daily exercise;
- any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person;
- to meet your support bubble or childcare bubble; and
- travelling to and from work but only where this cannot reasonably be done from home.
Going to Work
The guidance makes clear that people may only leave home for work if they cannot reasonably work from home. Where people cannot work from home – including, but not limited to, people who work in critical national infrastructure, construction, or manufacturing – they should continue to travel to their workplace. Public sector employees working in essential services, including childcare or education, should continue to go into work. Where it is necessary to work in other people’s homes – for example, for nannies, cleaners or tradespeople – people can do so.
Clinically Extremely Vulnerable People
Those who are clinically extremely vulnerable should shield once more. This means they should not attend work. If such people cannot work from home it is our advice that they should be furloughed, assuming they meet the eligibility requirements. Otherwise, such staff can be paid statutory sick pay (again assuming eligibility requirements are met). Failing that they should be granted holiday or unpaid leave. Those who are clinically extremely vulnerable should previously have had a letter from their GP categorising them as such.
Schools and Childcare
Other than for the children of critical workers and vulnerable children, schools will close. Schools will remain closed until at least after the February half term. Early years settings will remain open. As with the March lockdown, school closures are likely to cause significant problems for employers of staff with school age children as they struggle to balance the demands of work with childcare and home-schooling. Broadly speaking, your options where staff are struggling to work because of childcare responsibilities are:
- To furlough the staff (assuming eligibility requirements are met);
- To agree a flexible working pattern that allows childcare responsibilities to be balanced with work;
- To allow them to take periods of holiday; or
- To grant unpaid leave.
If you would like a quote for our retainer service so that we can support you through this, please email Paul Roberts @ firstname.lastname@example.org