Last night the Government enacted new Coronavirus Regulations under the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (Self-Isolation)(England) Regulations 2020 (“Regulations”). They’re not an easy read, however there are some important aspects to note in relation to workers/agency workers and self-isolation.

Employers need to have regard to Regulation 7 which makes it an offence for an employer to knowingly (so the employer has to have the requisite knowledge) permit a worker (including an agency worker) to attend any place other than the “designated place” which will usually be the place where the worker is self-isolating. Clearly in the majority of cases it is likely to be the worker’s home.

The Regulations include workers who are required to self-isolate because they have had close contact with someone who has tested postive after 28 September 2020.  So if an employer knows a worker has tested positive (or lives with someone who has tested positive), it's now responsible for stopping the worker from working (unless they can work from home) during the isolation period.  Any employer who fails to do so will face a fine, starting at £1,000 by way of a fixed penalty notice. Repeated breaches lead to a ratcheting-up in the level of fines.

Under Regulation 8 the worker is obliged to tell their employer that they are self-isolating and provide the start and end dates of their isolation period.  Any individual who breaches self-isolation will, in most cases a separate offence under Regulation 11.


Over the short-term with coronavirus infection rates being on the increase (and track and trace becoming more effective) it's likely that a lot of workers will be contacting employers informing them they need to self-isolate.

For a lot of organisations who in March moved to a homeworking model for most of their staff (and who by and large continue to operate in this way), it is going to be easier to cope. Others who rely on staff attending business premises may find it more challenging.

CONTACT: Christopher Filor
EMAIL: cfilor@filorsolicitors.co.uk   TELEPHONE: 01647 231475
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This publication is not intended to provide legal or other professional advice and should not be relied upon as such. Readers should take legal advice before applying the information contained in this briefing.
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