Guidance on managing the clinically extremely vulnerable in Scotland

Please Note: All information correct at time of writing on 11 November 2020. We do our very best to make sure our information is as up to date as possible, but we’d encourage you to check your government website for updates as they happen.

On the 2 November, Scotland introduced a new tiered system to help reduce the number of COVID-19 cases. The Scottish government’s Strategic Framework clarifies their advice to clinically extremely vulnerable employees who can’t work from home.


Working from home

Under the new tiered system, Scottish advice continues to be that those who can work from home should do so. For those who can’t work from home, they can go to work if the workplace is COVID-secure, but it is worth noting the following:

In Tiers 0 and 1

Following a workplace risk assessment, you should make the necessary adjustments to your workplace to protect your employees. The majority of workplaces can be made safe using the correct legal requirements outlined by the government.

In Tiers 2 and 3

Clinically extremely vulnerable should be able to go to work if the workplace is COVID-secure. An individual risk assessment should be carried out by the employer and if the workplace cannot be made safe, the advice to employees is to discuss whether they need a fit note with their GP or consultant.

In Tier 4

The Chief Medical Officer will issue a letter to those who are extremely clinically vulnerable which is similar to a fit note. This will last for as long as Level 4 restrictions remain in force. The letter can be used “in the few cases” where it is not possible to make the workplace safe for the employee.
The guidance states:

“Please note that this does not automatically mean you should not attend work. You should discuss this further with your employer, and if this results in adequate protection, you can continue to work.”

To have a look at the Scottish strategic framework for people at highest risk from COVID-19 please click here.

The tiered system will be reviewed regularly to assess COVID-19 prevention progress.


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For more information on managing clinically extremely vulnerable people, just give our experts a call on 0345 844 4848.

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