Are you worried about working due to COVID-19?7th May 2020
If you’re worried about work because of coronavirus, there are:
- things your employer should be doing to make sure you’re safe
- ways you might be able to keep getting paid if you decide not to work
You might still have to go to work but be worried about working if you:
- have a health condition that means you’re ‘vulnerable’ – check if you’re vulnerable according to the guidance on GOV.UK
- are pregnant
- are living with someone who has to stay at home because they’re ‘extremely vulnerable’
- are over 70
If you have a condition that means you’re ‘extremely vulnerable’, you need to avoid face-to-face contact with others and stay at home for 12 weeks. This is known as ‘shielding’.Check if you’re ‘extremely vulnerable’ according to the guidance on NHS inform.
If you’re shielding you won’t be able to go to work, but you can work from home if it’s possible.
Staying safe at work
Your employer should let you work from home if it’s possible.
When your job can’t be done at home, your employer should keep you safe from coronavirus. This could be by:
- letting you travel to work at quieter times of the day
- reducing how much face-to-face contact you have with the public
- making sure that staff stay at least 2 metres apart in your workplace
Talk to your employer if you think there’s more they could do to keep you safe.
If you think your work should be closed
Some businesses have been told to close because of coronavirus – for example, pubs and restaurants.
If you’re still working and you think the business should be closed, you can report your employer to the police or Trading Standards.
Your local Trading Standards Office below:
Dumfries & Galloway Council
t: 030 3333 3000
w: Dumfries & Galloway Council Trading Standards website
If you want to stop working
Your employer doesn’t usually have to pay you if you stop working. There are things you might be able to agree with your employer that mean you can still be paid if you stop working.
It’s worth asking your employer if they’ll put you on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – known as being ‘furloughed’. You’ll be paid 80% of your normal pay up to a maximum of £2,500 a month.
You should tell your employer if you have a health condition that means you’re ‘extremely vulnerable’ or ‘vulnerable’ – they might be more likely to agree to furlough you.
If you can, ask your doctor for evidence of your condition, unless you have a letter from NHS Scotland telling you to shield. The letter about shielding is evidence you’re not fit to go to work.
If your employer agrees to furlough you, find out how the scheme works.
If your employer won’t furlough you
There are other things you can do if your employer won’t furlough you:
- use some of your annual leave to take paid time off
- ask your employer to pay some of your wages as an advance or give you a loan – you’d have to pay the loan back
- if you’re shielding because you’re extremely vulnerable, you might be able to get sick pay – check if you can get sick pay
If you’re pregnant
Your employer has an extra responsibility to make changes to your job so it’s safe for you to keep working. If they can’t make changes to make sure you’re safe, they could give you a different role to do.
If it’s still not safe for you to keep working, you might have a right to stay at home and still get your full pay.
If you’re disabled
Your employer might have an extra responsibility to make changes to your job to help you work. For example, they might have to give you a different role to do.
This is called making ‘reasonable adjustments’ – check how to ask your employer to make reasonable adjustments.
If you need more help, you can get advice from us directly. Call us on our freephone number 0300 303 4321 or email us by filling in our online enquiry form.Back to News