Clinically Extremely Vulnerable People No Longer Advised To Shield
The Government has written to all clinically extremely vulnerable people in England explaining that from 1 April 2021 they are no longer advised to shield and that as a consequence if they cannot work from home (in line with the Government’s advice that everyone should work from home where possible) they should attend their workplace.
The letter also sets out that from 1 April 2021 these employees will no longer be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) on the basis of being advised to shield. An employer will still be able to furlough an employee if they cannot safely return to work. The Health and Safety Executive has issued guidance on protecting vulnerable workers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Scottish Government has updated its shielding guidance in anticipation of (and subject to) all level four areas in Scotland moving to level three (or lower) in the coming months.
The updated guidance sets out that individuals currently on the shielding list will be able to return to the workplace from 26 April 2021and in the meantime, they should continue to work from home if they can. If these individuals cannot work from home between now and 26 April 2021, the guidance outlines that they should not return to work even if they have received one or two doses of the vaccine.
The guidance sets out that the Chief Medical Officer will be sending a letter to those currently on the shielding list in Scotland to confirm the updated advice. In addition, it outlines that the shielding notification letter will act as a fit note for sick pay purposes and will be valid until 30 June 2021, presumably subject to the current lockdown restrictions being eased and local restrictions where the individual works and/or studies being moved into a level 3 or lower area.