Covid - 19 Absence

This policy should provide you with as much reassurance as we reasonably can if you need to be absent from work during what is an unprecedented crisis. It does not cover furlough directly, which is absence at our discretion (subject to your agreement).

We might update this policy from time to time as Government guidance can change. Please revisit our policy if any aspect becomes relevant to you.

You might need to be absent from work because:

  • you are sick (or incapacitated) for whatever reason
  • you, or someone with whom you live, has or has had Covid-19 like symptoms and you need to self-isolate
  • you have a Covid-19 diagnosis
  • you need to be shielded
  • you live with a person who is shielding or you cannot work due to childcare commitments
  • a close relative has died, with or without Covid-19
  • you want to take holiday
  • you are pregnant

It is your responsibility to ensure our contact details for you are correct so we can keep in touch with each other.

If you are sick or have a Covid-19 diagnosis

It is important that you follow the normal procedures for reporting sickness (or injury), and you will need to complete a self-certification form. You will not need a doctor’s medical certificate during the Covid-19 crisis (unless the Government changes its current advice).

You will be paid sick pay in-line with the company sickness policy.

We cannot furlough you while you are off sick so you will not receive furlough pay during sickness. Furlough pay will end if you are sick. If you return to work having been ill you will not necessarily be furloughed even if we have furloughed other employees. We might require you to return to work.

If you need to self-isolate

The most common symptoms of coronavirus (Covid-19) are recent onset of:

  • new continuous cough and/or
  • high temperature

If you or someone you live with has these symptoms you will need to self-isolate for 7 days (if the symptoms are yours) or 14 days (if it is someone you live with). Of course, if the symptoms do not subside you should report as sick.

There is more detailed advice on self-isolating here. Please read it if it might apply to you.

It is important that you follow the normal procedures exactly as for reporting sickness (or injury), and you will need to complete a self-certification form. If the isolation is for more than 7 days we may, at our discretion, seek an online self-isolation note. These can be obtained from the NHS website or the NHS mobile phone app.

If you need to be shielded

You should receive a letter from the NHS if you need to shield. You can find more details, including whether shielding applies to you, here. You may need to contact your GP.

Please inform your line manager as soon as possible if you need to shield.

If you need to shield, you may be able to work from home depending on the nature of your work.

If you cannot work from home, then we will need to furlough you while you remain shielded. We will need your agreement before we can furlough you and will explain the implications to you before you sign.

If you live with a person who is shielding, or have childcare commitments

You do not necessarily need to self-isolate so we will endeavour to find you suitable work, for example, from home. Please contact Gwen Fallows, at the office or by email: to discuss your situation if this applies to you.

If a close relative has died

In current circumstances the company recognises this can be exceptionally distressing. Please let Gwen Fallows, at the office or by email: know and the company will address this in a compassionate manner.

Unless otherwise defined in our bereavement policy, a close relative is regarded as a husband, wife, partner, father, mother, son, daughter, sister, brother, father-in-law or mother-in-law, or any person where you are acting as the nearest living relative. Half-brothers and sisters, adopted parents, step-parents or children are included, as are grandparents.

You want to take holiday

Subject to certain statutory rights to carry over holiday, the normal rules relating to holidays apply and you will need to take your entitlement within the holiday year. You may need to make holiday requests digitally.

You are pregnant

The latest government advice is that you need to be extra cautious and avoid non-essential contact as much as possible. If we have not furloughed you, then we will offer you suitable work, wherever possible. This may be temporary and could, depending on the nature of your work, be homeworking. If necessary, we will suspend you from work on medical grounds and pay you your normal earnings. If you remain suspended until the fourth week before the expected week of childbirth, this will trigger the commencement of your maternity leave.

This policy was last reviewed in May 2020