I am sure everybody is aware of the NHS covid app ‘ping’, but what does it mean for you, a staff member or an employer? To start with, the ‘ping’ is different from being contacted by NHS Track and Trace. If you are told to self-isolate by NHS Track and Trace, then it is a legal requirement to do that. Interestingly, with the ping you are ‘advised’ to self-isolate, but this can’t be enforced by law.
So what should you do if you get the ping? You could weigh up the risks of working outside alone, and decide the risk of spreading the virus is low. The really hard question is what do you do if a member of your staff gets the ping? Can you make them, or should you make them go to work? I was listening to the radio this morning when it was discussed by an employment law expert. The answer was NOT clear.
If you do insist they go to work, you may be breaching your duty of care as an employer to the other staff and them. What precautions should be taken? I don’t have the answers here, but this is something we should all think about. Many people are deleting the NHS app. I certainly don’t think this is the answer, but having to self-isolate at home when you might be working alone in a forest does seem a bit unfair.
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