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1)            INTRODUCTION

The Company is committed to ensuring the health & safety of all employees. To this end, this policy sets out steps that the Company is taking in order to tackle the coronavirus outbreak, alongside expectations that are placed upon employees.


We strongly encourage all employees to follow these guidelines from the World Health Organisation on infection control, both whilst at work and in their daily lives. This includes:

  • frequently cleaning their hands by using alcohol-based hand sanitiser, or soap and water
  • when coughing and sneezing, covering mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue, throwing this tissue away immediately and washing their hands
  • avoiding close contact with anyone who has a fever and cough.


If you begin to display symptoms of the virus, you must follow government guidance to find out what to do next. This may involve internet and phone services. You should not go to your doctor’s surgery. You must also notify your manager at the earliest opportunity.


The Company accepts that some of its employees will have plans to travel in the near future, including pre-booked and paid for holidays. Certain countries have been identified as having been severely affected by the virus and we would therefore ask that employees consider, for their health reasons, whether travelling to these areas is the best thing to do. If a decision is made to travel, we ask that employees let their manager know of the countries to be visited so that their return can be managed appropriately.

We also ask all employees to keep themselves up to date with government guidance on the countries which require self-isolation upon return. Bear in mind that this guidance can change on a daily basis.


The government is currently advising people to self-isolate if they have recently returned from certain countries, even if they have no symptoms. This means staying at home and not having contact with other people. In the event that this applies to you, you must not attend work during the isolation period. If you did not already inform us of travel to such countries beforehand, you must inform us before your intended return to work. Your manager will keep in contact with you during this period. Where feasible, we may consider whether you can work from home during this period, or whether we can agree a period of paid annual leave with you. Where no other agreement is made you will be deemed to be on authorised absence and this time off work will be unpaid and will be treated in accordance with our normal sickness absence and pay policies and you will receive contractual sick pay.

Some countries require self-isolation on return only where you display symptoms of the virus. If you do have symptoms on your return, including a cough, fever or difficulty breathing, you should not attend work. Follow government guidance on what to do next, which may include using internet or telephone services, and also follow our normal sickness reporting procedures. In this situation, you will be treated as being on sickness absence.

If you return from a country which does not require automatic self-isolation, and you are displaying no symptoms, you should be prepared to attend work as normal. However, if there is a reason why you think you may have been exposed to the virus, you should let your manager know before you return to work.


If we are concerned that you may have been exposed to the virus, even though you are not displaying symptoms, we may take the decision to send you home/require you not to attend work. This may occur if, for example, you inform us that you have been in close contact with someone else who has, or may have, the virus. This is treated as a period of suspension for medical reasons. It is not considered a disciplinary sanction; the period of suspension will be in recognition of the possibility that your continued presence in the workplace poses a risk of spreading the virus. You will receive full pay during this time off. Alternatively, we may agree a period of paid annual leave with you.

If, during this period of suspension, you develop symptoms, you should follow government guidance on what to do next, which may include using internet or telephone services, and also follow our normal sickness reporting procedures. You will then be treated as being on a period of sickness absence.


If you contract the virus, you should take and follow medical advice on the length of your sickness absence. You are required to produce a medical certificate for illnesses lasting seven calendar days or more, however, we appreciate that you are not likely to be in a position to obtain a medical certificate in usual timescales, therefore you should provide it as soon as is reasonably practicable. During your absence, our normal sickness absences rules will apply and you will receive (*statutory sick pay (SSP) in accordance with legal requirements in force from time to time/pay in accordance with our contractual sick pay subject to meeting qualifying criteria.)

8)            ATTENDANCE AT WORK

Unless you have followed our usual reporting procedures in relation to sickness absence, are in self-isolation following government guidance, or not attending work under our specific instruction, you are expected to attend work as normal.


As time progresses, it may become clear that the business is temporarily unable to continue its operations as normal. In this scenario, we may be forced to close all, or part, of the business temporarily until such a time as we are able to resume operations. Whilst we will do everything we can to ensure that this does not happen, we may be left with no option but to place you on furlough, or short time working.


It may be necessary for us to require you to work from an alternative work location if, for example, instructions from a third party mean that entry into our current workplace is not permitted. Your flexibility in this regard will be expected, however, all instructions of this nature will be reasonable.

The Company will consider, as part of its general approach to maintaining normal business operations, whether employees are to work from home. Obviously, this will not be possible in every case due to the nature of individual roles. However, we will assess the viability of this option, taking into consideration any equipment needed, at the relevant time and, as a result, you may be required to work from home for a temporary period. Employees should not assume that they will be permitted to work from home and advance authorisation will be needed in every case.


We operate a zero tolerance policy to all forms of harassment and bullying in the workplace. We will not tolerate any unacceptable behaviour to colleagues, suppliers, members of the public etc. Any complaints of this nature will be investigated in line with our usual policy and may result in disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.