We're in an unprecedented situation in regards to staff absence; but we have to manage absence as normal (as possible).
Your employee has contracted COVID-19:
If a member of your team has contracted the virus - this could be "suspected" as they've had interaction with another individual who has tested positive or they are showing symptoms i.e. coughing.
They should be immediately sent home and told to isolate, contacting 111 to gain a doctors line and organising a "drive-in" appointment at one of the national Coronavirus testing centres (set up at most major hospitals). If this individual has had social contact with other members of the team, you may have to consider asking them to self-isolate as well. An example would be, the employee's desk buddies - if they have not maintained adequate social distance (1-2 metres) then they have put that other employee at risk.
The employee should advise you as soon as possible as to whether they have tested positive or not. The employee should be moved onto SSP and CSP (if available) for the 14 day period - if further absence is needed after this time, you can adjust CSP as required.
Your employee is self-isolating (either of their own accord or because a member of their family has contracted the virus):
As the Government has advised, if a member of your family contracts the virus, the whole family must isolate to stop the spread.
Your employee should let you know immediately that a member of their family is showing symptoms (in which time they should self-isolate) and if the family member does test positive. The employee should call 111 for a doctors line to cover the 14 day absence, and will be covered by SSP from day one (which you can claim back).
Your employee has been medically-advised to self-isolate or has been quarantined:
If your employee has been medically-advised (or quarantined) to self-isolate, they should inform you immediately and provide a doctors line to cover the absence. This should be for 14 days but could be longer as required. They should move onto SSP and CSP (if available) as this should be considered a "normal" medical-related absence.
On return to work, all employees should provide a doctors line to cover their absence - there are no excuses as the 111 system has been set-up to ensure doctors lines are easier to access.
And all employees should have a Return to Work interview, as per normal practise, which documents:
- Who had the virus (what was the risk)?
- GP's advice (if any)
- Medication taken (if any)
- And, are they fit to be back at work?
The only difference would be, that this absence should not be included in your normal absence trigger system, due to the circumstances this would be deemed unreasonable.
If you're having issues with employee absence or need to ask a specific question, please contact the team directly.