25 March 2021
Vulnerable employees no longer advised to shield from April 1
From 1 April 2021, the Government’s advice to the clinically extremely vulnerable is changing. Because of falling infection rates and an increase in the number of people who have been vaccinated, shielding is being “paused”. If the situation continues to improve, then shielding is likely not to be restarted.
This is good news for those clinically extremely vulnerable employees who have been unable to work from home. They are no longer being advised not to attend work and should follow the same advice as everybody else. The current advice for those who cannot work from home is that they should continue to travel to their place of work and that they may use public transport to do so. This means that they can return to work in the same way as all other employees.
Because the advice to shield will no longer be in force, from 1 April 2021, clinically extremely vulnerable employees will no longer be entitled to receive statutory sick pay if they don’t attend work, unless they are actually ill or self-isolating.
Many clinically extremely vulnerable employees may have been outside the workplace for an extended period of time and so employers may want to give thought to any training needs the employee may have, as well as consider offering a phased return.