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What are the COVID-19 statutory regulations in force until the end of June 2021?

Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton

Free test kits – in the next major push for the Government’s workplace testing programme, all employers will now be able to offer their employees free and regular testing that can be taken at home. Rapid home testing is available for all businesses with over 10 employees who cannot offer on-site testing. Businesses must register interest by 12 April to access the free tests.

Homeworking – where it is considered that workers should come into their place of work, this will need to be reflected in the Covid-19 workplace risk assessment and employers should “encourage a mix of home and office-based working where full home working is not possible”. The government is currently carrying out a review of continuing social-distancing measures and which will have implications for other measures, such as the work from home guidance.

Meetings – individuals can gather in “larger groups or meet indoors where it is necessary for your work” but given the potential sanctions for breaching the new regulations, employers would be sensible to adopt a cautious approach in determining which gatherings are necessary for work purposes.

Shielding – people who are clinically extremely vulnerable are no longer advised to shield from 1 April 2021 and should instead work from home or, where this is not possible, attend the workplace. Where attendance at the workplace is necessary, employers should consider what additional measures may need to be taken to protect the employee, as well as any reasonable adjustments where an employee is disabled.

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