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A third of employers plan to scrap self-isolation for workers

New research by HR software provider CIPHR suggests that many British employers won’t require staff who test positive for Covid-19 to self-isolate at home once any remaining legal restrictions are lifted.

The poll of 250 business owners, CEOs and senior managers found that less than half (48 per cent) are planning to keep staff with Covid at home and away from the workplace. One in five (21 per cent) of those surveyed are still unsure how they will deal with the imminent easing of self-isolation restrictions for positive or asymptomatic people.

Around third (31 per cent) of employers openly admit that, once the legal duty to self-isolate is removed, they won’t be expecting their workers to do so. One in seven – around 15 per cent of these – claim that they can’t afford to continue keeping their staff at home.

According to the findings, employers with a predominantly desk-based workforce are more likely to keep their self-isolation policies in place, compared to their non-desk counterparts (58 per cent compared to 37 per cent say they will continue to require staff who test positive for Covid-19 to self-isolate at home).

Commenting on the results, Claire Williams, Chief People Officer at CIPHR, said: “It’s really interesting to see the different stance employers are taking on this one, and there are clearly several factors to consider – specifically the working environment and the level of risk that it presents to other employees, customers, patients, children, and so on. 

“In environments that are purely office-based, where a large proportion of employees will have been vaccinated, employers may take the view that employees should use their common sense and treat it like any other flu or illness – don’t work if you are unwell, and be conscious of not coming into the office and spreading any bugs.

“However, other employers will, understandably, take a far more cautious approach. If, for example, you work in health or social care, it’s more likely that employers will want their employees to be testing negative and to self-isolate to minimise transmission. There is certainly no right or wrong in this scenario and it has to be assessed as per any other risk that a company is presented with.”

Williams added: “The difficulties come where employers enforce self-isolation in roles that are unable to be completed from home, and how this will impact people’s pay – especially when employees may be well enough to work. Careful consideration will need to be given to the legalities of policies and procedures that are introduced to cater for those situations, and any impact of new policies on the wider organisation that could affect areas such as staff turnover.”

Currently, there is a legal requirement for people in the UK who test positive for Covid-19 to self-isolate for 10 days (or five days with two negative tests). These restrictions are set to be lifted in England this week, as part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s ‘Living with Covid’ plan.

Waste Management and Recycling Survey

FMJ in conjunction with Grundon Waste Management have launched the 2022 survey into how FMs approach their waste management and recycling responsibilities.

It’s the fifth year for the annual appraisal, and as we return to normal, there is a real opportunity for FMs to reappraise their waste and recycling operations and look at new, smarter waste management strategies.

In order to understand how FMs have navigated their way through the last year and their plans for meeting stringent waste and recycling targets we’ve posed a series of questions which include insights into FMs’ waste management strategy and targets, such as zero waste and landfill, the types of waste organisations produce and what helps FMs promote waste management in their organisations?

Please share your experiences and opinions on waste management. The survey will take just five minutes to complete, and as a thank you for taking part, respondents will be entered into a prize draw to win a £150 Amazon gift card.

To take part click here.

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