Self-Isolation and Social Distancing

If You Become Unwell

Self-isolation (Have Symptoms) & Ending Self-isolation

It is advised that if you live alone, you should self-isolate for 7 days if you have recent on-set of:

New continuous cough and/or
High temperature
The advice is to self-isolate, there is no need to contact the Occupational Health Department.

Only call 111 if symptoms worsen during home isolation or symptoms are no better aft 7 days.

If staff have either of these symptoms, they should contact their manager to inform them of their absence and the reason (as per normal reporting procedures).

After 7 days of self-isolation, people who feel better and no longer have a high temperature can return to their normal routine. The cough may persist for several weeks in some people, despite the coronavirus infection having cleared.

Q. What will I be paid?
Staff who self-isolate will be paid as normal, including any enhancements. A GP Fit Note is not required for absences over 7 days.

Where individuals self-isolate for 7 days with symptoms, this will be classed as normal sickness absence but will also be disregarded in respect of cumulative absence and triggers which operate within the Managing Attendance at Work Policy.

Any planned annual leave which coincides with this period of self-isolation will be reinstated.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection

Q. What happens if a bank staff member cancels a shift due to the need to self-isolate?
If a Bank worker cancels a shift because of the need to self-isolate, they will be paid for the booked shifts. However, this is for the purpose of control of infection only and in these circumstances. All bank workers should recognise the reasoning and intent behind this provision and not book multiple shifts knowing that they may need to self-isolate.

If others in your household become unwell
If a member of your household displays symptoms of Coronavirus, you and all members of the household should self-isolate for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.

For anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14 day isolation period.

Should a household member develop coronavirus symptoms late in the 14-day household-isolation period (for example, on day 13 or day 14), the isolation period does not need to be extended, but the person with the new symptoms has to stay at home for 7 days.

The 14-day household-isolation period will have greatly reduced the overall amount of infection the rest of the household could pass on, and it is not necessary to restart 14 days of isolation for the whole household. This will have provided a high level of community protection. Further isolation of members of this household will provide very little additional community protection.

At the end of the 14-day period, any family member who has not become unwell can leave household isolation.

If any ill person in the household has not had any signs of improvement and have not already sought medical advice, they should contact NHS 111 online. If your home has no internet access, you should call NHS 111.

Q. What will I be paid?
Staff who self-isolate will be paid as normal, including any enhancements.

Q. I feel well but can my family member who is symptomatic be tested?
We are keen to see those who are self-isolating return to work quickly and in safe manner. Therefore if you are self isolating because a member of your household is displaying symptoms you can request that they be tested. This will need to be done via your line manager who will be able to request the test.

Pregnant Employees

As a precaution, pregnant employees should follow government advice about social distancing; stay away from public places and avoid anyone who has symptoms suggestive of coronavirus.

If you are in the third trimester (more than 28 weeks pregnant) current advice is that you should be particularly attentive to social distancing and minimising any contact with others.

Q. I am under 28 weeks pregnant. Should I remain in work?
Where possible it is advised that you avoid contact with known or suspected COVID19 positive cases. If you are able to work from home you should do so in agreement with your line manager.

You can choose to continue to work in a patient-facing role. If you choose to continue working, it is strongly recommended the necessary precautions are taken. You should avoid, where possible, caring for patients with suspected or confirmed coronavirus infection. If this is not possible, you should use personal protective equipment (PPE) and ensure a thorough risk assessment is undertaken.

Your manager should discuss with you what options are available to minimise your exposure. This should be done preferably with advice from occupational health.

Q. I am in my third trimester (more than 28 weeks and over) or have an underlying health condition. Should I remain in work?
If you are in your third trimester (more than 28 weeks pregnant), or have an underlying health condition – such as heart or lung disease, it is strongly recommend you avoid direct patient contact. It is better to work from home where possible, avoid contact with anyone with symptoms of coronavirus, and significantly reduce unnecessary social contact.

Managers are encouraged to seek opportunities for pregnant healthcare workers in their third trimester to work flexibly in a different capacity, to avoid roles where they are working directly with patients.

https://www.rcog.org.uk/en/guidelines-research-services/guidelines/coronavirus-pregnancy/covid-19-virus-infection-and-pregnancy/

Extremely Vulnerable

Those who fall into this category should receive a letter from the Welsh Government Chief Medical Officer.

People who are considered to be extremely vulnerable are advised to take extra precautions and to shield themselves.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

Q. I am in the extremely vulnerable group and have been advised to shield for 12 weeks. Do I need to evidence this with the letter and what will I be paid?
If any member of staff receives a letter, they should let their line manager know. We do not expect managers to request confirmation that their staff are in the extremely vulnerable group.

Individuals in this group who refrain from the work place for 12 weeks, from the date of their letter will be paid as normal.

If working from home is an option, this should be explored.

Q. My child is in the extremely vulnerable group and has been advised to shield for 12 weeks. I am concerned that I will pass the virus on to them. What should I do?
We do not expect managers to request confirmation that a member of staff’s child(ren) are in the extremely vulnerable group.

Managers are encouraged to do all they can to remove the risk of the employee contracting the virus and passing this onto a vulnerable child. This will include the employee not working in COVID19 areas. This may include temporary redeployment or if working from home is an option this should be explored.

Cases should be looked at on an individual basis and each person’s circumstances should be taken into account.

It may be appropriate for the employee to remain away from the workplace for 12 weeks in order to shield the vulnerable child, if no other options offer a solution that is suitable. If this is the case, the employee will be asked to take 8 days annual leave and will receive basic pay (i.e. no enhancements) for the remainder of the period.

Q. I am a carer for an individual who is considered to be in the extremely vulnerable group. They have been advised to shield for 12 weeks. I am concerned that if I continue to work and care for them, I will pass the virus on to them.
Each individual’s circumstances will be different. We would encourage staff who find themselves in this position to speak with their line-manager to come up with a reasonable solution.

Manager are advised to undertake a risk assessment and consider options such as:

Home working

Avoiding contact with known or suspected COVID19 positive cases
Temporary alternative duties / different working hours to reduce social interactions in the work place
Use of PPE to reduce risks if the individual has to be patient facing
If all considerations have taken place, it may be appropriate for the employee to remain away from the workplace for 12 weeks in order to shield the vulnerable individual whom they care for, but this is only if no other options offer a solution that is reasonable.

If this is the case, they be asked to take 8 days annual leave and will receive basic pay (i.e. no enhancements) for the remainder of the period.

Vulnerable groups

https://gov.wales/coronavirus-social-distancing-guidance

This group includes those who are:

Aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)
Under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (ie anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds):
Chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
Chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
Chronic kidney disease
Chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
Chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), a learning disability or cerebral palsy
Diabetes
Problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed
A weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
Being seriously overweight (a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above)
those who are pregnant (see separate advice below)
The government has advised individuals in this group to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures but not to shield. Social distancing is a range of measures that can be used to reduce your social interaction between people.

If you have staff or are a staff member in the above categories consideration should be given as to what support can be offered.

Q. I am in the vulnerable group. Should I be coming to work?
Managers are asked to exercise flexibility and to undertake a local risk assessment to remove/reduce the risk of exposure to known or suspected COVID19. This will include all staff falling within the definition of vulnerable groups.

It is advised that these staff where possible:

Work from home providing it is in the mutual interest of the organisation and employees to do so.
Avoid contact with known or suspected COVID19 positive cases
Consider temporary alternative duties – may be to a different department or to a different role/ different working hours
Appropriate PPE to reduce the risk if they remain patient facing
If adjustments cannot be made to the role and you and your manager are concerned then the sensible advice is to temporarily remove the member of staff from the workplace, in which case they will receive full pay.

This must be reviewed on a regular basis as advice changes, please maintain contact with the employee. It is imperative that any action discussed with the employee and preferably with support from Occupational Health.

Q. My child is in the vulnerable group. I am concerned I will pass the virus on to them.
The advice above also applies to this scenario.

Q. Someone is my household is in the high risk/vulnerable group. I don’t want to come to work in case I infect them.
The advice above also applies to this scenario.

Q. A member of staff has refused to come to work because they are fearful that thy will become infected. I have discussed this with them and I do not feel that they are being reasonable. What should I do?
We understand that staff may have genuine concerns; therefore we ask that managers take a sensitive approach and discuss the issue with the individual.

Managers should reassure staff over safety concerns; this may include discussions around how they can remain well, PPE or movement to another area.

If an individual still does not want to go into work, they may be able to arrange with their manager to take the time off as holiday or unpaid leave.

Managers should then use their discretion and make the appropriate decision.

 

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