Shielding and people at higher risk from coronavirus (COVID-19)

Shielding rules in England, Scotland and Wales

Employers must be particularly careful and take extra steps for anyone in their workforce who’s at a higher risk of serious illness from coronavirus (COVID-19).

These people may be at:

  • high risk (‘clinically extremely vulnerable’)
  • moderate risk (‘clinically vulnerable’)

People at high risk will be contacted if they need to take extra cautionary measures to protect themselves (‘shield’) during the pandemic.

Shielding may be stopped and started again at different points in the pandemic, depending on the latest government advice.

Shielding

If someone who needs to shield cannot work from home, the employer should talk to the person about:

  • taking up an alternative role that’s suitable and safe to do from home
  • not returning to work until it’s safe to do so

If they cannot work, the employer may be able to put the person on furlough.

Otherwise, they may be entitled to one of the following:

Shielding rules in England

From 1 April 2021, shielding is paused in England.

People at high risk should continue to work from home where possible. If they cannot work from home, they should return to the workplace.

Employers must make sure workplaces are safe to return to and everyone must follow working safely guidelines. Find out more about keeping the workplace safe.

For more information, see:

Shielding rules in Scotland

From 26 April 2021, shielding is paused in Scotland.

People at high risk should continue to work from home where possible. If they cannot work from home, they should return to the workplace.

Employers must make sure workplaces are safe to return to and everyone must follow working safely guidelines. Find out more about keeping the workplace safe.

For more information see:

Shielding rules in Wales

From 1 April 2021, shielding is paused in Wales.

People at high risk should continue to work from home where possible. If they cannot work from home, they should return to the workplace.

Employers must make sure workplaces are safe to return to and everyone must follow working safely guidelines. Find out more about keeping the workplace safe.

For more information see:

If an employee lives with someone who’s at high risk

Government guidelines are that employees and workers who live with people who are at high risk should work from home if they can.

If they cannot work from home, they should go into work.

They should speak to their employer if they have any concerns. Their employer must make sure they’re keeping the workplace safe.

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