After the development of a new model to work out who might be most at risk from COVID-19, an extra 1.7 million people are expected to be advised to shield in England. This means that the number of people who are being advised to shield will increase to around 4 million people.
Employees who have been advised to shield have been advised by the government not to attend work if they cannot work from home. The advice to shield is in place until at least 31 March 2021, but it is possible that it will be extended.
If your employee has newly been advised to shield and cannot work from home in their usual role, then you should discuss with them whether there is an alternative role that is safe and suitable for them to do from home.
Shielding employees are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay if they can neither work from home nor attend work. However, they are likely to find that SSP is not enough for them to meet their needs, particularly over an extended period.
While you do not have to do so, you may want to consider whether you can use the furlough scheme to support those who are shielding and are temporarily unable to work. The furlough scheme is currently set to run until 30 April 2021.