Social Distancing and Vulnerable People
Posted on 25th March 2020 at 13:13
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Just a few pointers on social distancing and vulnerable people
Current government advice is for everyone to try and stop unnecessary contact with other people – 'social distancing'. This includes:
working from home where possible
avoiding busy commuting times on public transport
avoiding gatherings of people, whether in public, at work or at home
Employers should support their workforce to take these steps. This might include:
agreeing to more flexible ways of working
Splitting breaks over longer times to reduce numbers in canteen
Isolating chairs to keep minimum distances when taking breaks
allowing staff to work from home wherever possible
cancelling face-to-face events and meetings and rearranging to remote calling where possible, for example using video or conference calling technology
The government has issued guidance that strongly advises people who are at a higher risk of catching coronavirus ('vulnerable people') to take strict social distancing measures.
Employers must be especially careful and take extra steps for anyone in their workforce who is in a vulnerable group. They include, but are not limited to, those who:
have a long-term health condition, for example asthma, diabetes or heart disease, or a weakened immune system as the result of medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
are aged 70 or over
care for someone with a health condition that might put them at a greater risk
Shielding for extremely vulnerable people
Some people will receive a letter from the NHS to say they must take extra steps to protect (or 'shield') themselves because of an underlying health condition. This is for people who are at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus.
If an employee receives a letter telling them to start shielding, they will need to stay at home for at least 12 weeks.
Employees should talk to their employer as soon as they can if they:
have been told to start shielding
think they might get a letter telling them to start shielding
Employers should support staff following shielding guidelines. This might be a distressing or difficult time, so it’s important for employers to keep in touch during any absence. Click here to see Employers & Businesses Guidance from Public Health England
Tagged as: Coronavirus
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