Coronavirus advice and guidance for your business or workplace
There are a series of full guidance notes, information and general advice - including posters for your workplace - available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/guidance-for-employers-and-businesses-on-covid-19
See below for information on certifying absence, precautions for overseas mail, cleaning and rubbish disposal.
Certifying absence from work
By law, medical evidence is not required for the first 7 days of sickness. After 7 days, it is for the employer to determine what evidence they require, if any, from the employee. This does not need to be fit note (Med 3 form) issued by a GP or other doctor.
Your employee will be advised to isolate themselves and not to work in contact with other people by NHS 111 or PHE if they are a carrier of, or have been in contact with, an infectious or contagious disease, such as COVID-19.
We strongly suggest that employers use their discretion around the need for medical evidence for a period of absence where an employee is advised to self-isolate due to suspected COVID-19, in accordance with the public health advice being issued by the government.
Advice for staff returning from travel anywhere else in the world within the last 14 days: Currently, there are minimal cases outside the listed areas and therefore the likelihood of an individual coming into contact with a confirmed case is extremely low. These staff can continue to attend work unless they have been informed that they have had contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19.
If individuals are aware that they have had close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 they should contact NHS 111 for further advice. The latest country information is available on the NaTHNac Travel Pro website.
Handling post, packages or food from affected areas
Employees should continue to follow existing risk assessments and safe systems of work.
There is no perceived increase in risk for handling post or freight from specified areas.
Cleaning offices where there are suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19
Coronavirus symptoms are similar to a flu-like illness and include cough, fever, or shortness of breath. Once symptomatic, all surfaces that the person has come into contact with must be cleaned including:
all surfaces and objects which are visibly contaminated with body fluids
all potentially contaminated high-contact areas such as toilets, door handles, telephones
Public areas where a symptomatic individual has passed through and spent minimal time in (such as corridors) but which are not visibly contaminated with body fluids do not need to be specially cleaned and disinfected.
If a person becomes ill in a shared space, these should be cleaned using disposable cloths and household detergents, according to current recommended workplace legislation and practice.
Rubbish disposal, including tissues
All waste that has been in contact with the individual, including used tissues, and masks if used, should be put in a plastic rubbish bag and tied when full. The plastic bag should then be placed in a second bin bag and tied. It should be put in a safe place and marked for storage until the result is available. If the individual tests negative, this can be put in the normal waste.
- Should the individual test positive, you will be instructed what to do with the waste.