If this feels familiar, we have been here before …

In Wales
The clinically extremely vulnerable have been advised to shield in Wales since the 22 December 2020. Shielding for the clinically extremely vulnerable will be paused on 31 March 2021. The fact that the word “pause” is being used indicates that this position may change again in the future so be prepared to be flexible.

Working from home should still be the position wherever that is possible. Where that is not possible, employers will have to take measures to make the workplace COVID secure which may involve changing the person’s duties etc.

In England
The clinically extremely vulnerable have been shielding since 5 January 2021. As of 1 April 2021, they will no longer be advised to do so and will not be eligible for statutory sick pay on the basis of being advised to shield.

The advice is still that they should continue to work from home wherever that is possible, so employers ought to be attempting to facilitate that. Where they cannot work from home, then they are advised to attend their workplace and employers will be under a duty to take measures which will reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace. That may involve changing the person’s duties etc.

Furlough is an option where the employer decides working from home isn’t possible. The employer would need to consider the discrimination risks associated with, for example, singling out a worker for furlough, when their category of colleague was not also being furloughed.

Refreshing Law Ltd

19 March 2021