Today, 18th March, Public Health England have issued new guidance regarding those who have been advised to shield.

As of 1st April those people who have been advised to shield because they are extremely clinically vulnerable will no longer have to do so.  Effectively this means that those people will no longer be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay on the basis that they are shielding.  Of course, some may produce a sick note from their doctor but in the absence of such a note they should return to work.

The guidance remains the same in regard to working from home.  Employees should work from home if it is possible for them to do so.

People who are shielding potentially have a disability so don’t forget to consult with them in respect of ensuring there are appropriate and reasonable adjustments in place.

Without a doubt, folk who have been shielding for many weeks will feel anxious about returning to the workplace.  You should consider putting together a detailed memo setting out everything you have done to ensure your workplace in Covid 19 safe – don’t forget ventilation.  Hopefully this will help to allay any fears or anxieties people may have about returning to the workplace.

If you have employees who are refusing to return to the workplace please feel free to give me a call.  Every case will be different and may require a different approach – please don’t leap in and dismiss on the basis that they are AWOL!

You can contact me on 07766 167160 or at