Following Matt Hancock’s announcement in a government press conference this week that shielding will end on 31 March, Public Health England published a letter yesterday (18 March) that’s going out to everyone on the shielded patient list.
The letter confirms that:
- From 1 April shielding will be paused.
- Those who are clinically extremely vulnerable are still being advised to take extra precautions to protect themselves such as keeping their number of social interactions low .
- The letter states that while everyone is advised to continue to work from home where possible, if they cannot work from home, they should now attend their workplace (from 1 April).
- It reiterates that employers are required to take steps to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID in the workplace and “should be able to explain to you the measures they have put in place to keep you safe at work” (the attached guidance note issued with the letter states that one of those measures may be regular COVID testing).
- Entitlement to Statutory Sick Pay for shielding will end from 1 April as the requirement to shield is paused from that date.
- The letter specifically refers to the fact that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until 30 September. It does not give further details but in the attached guidance notes, it states that they will continue to be eligible to be furloughed throughout this period, even when shielding is paused, provided their employer agrees.
How Citation can help
If you’re a Citation client and you have questions about how the end of shielding may affect your business, you can call our 24/7 advice line for expert guidance on 0345 844 4848.