13 November 2020
UPDATED – New joint guidance for clinically extremely vulnerable and clinically vulnerable employees during the lockdown in England
This circular advises branches of new guidance covering clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) and clinically vulnerable (CV) employees during the lockdown in England.
With the start of a new lockdown in England, the Government has issued revised guidance covering people who are clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV). Following this, the NJC trade unions and employers have negotiated new revised guidance covering employees who are clinically extremely vulnerable or clinically vulnerable (CV). The joint circular to local authorities is attached.
The circular makes clear that employees who are CEV must work from home. If they cannot work from home, then redeployment opportunities could be considered if this would enable them to work from home. But the circular returns us to the position that if a CEV employee cannot work from home, “employers will have no option other than to accept that some employees will be staying at home on normal full pay for the duration of these restrictions.” In other words, members who are CEV should stay at home, work if they can, and must be paid normal full pay.
For employees who are CV, the circular states that they should only attend the workplace if it is COVID-secure. If an employee expresses concerns about returning to the workplace, the employer should address these concerns and carry out an individual risk assessment. UNISON has pushed strongly for joint guidance that states that individual risk assessments should be carried out, and it is important that we ensure these take place. The circular also states that if COVID-secure requirements are not met, the employee should not return to work until appropriate measures are in place; until then, the employee should remain at home on normal full pay.