Kate Brooks
Partner, Solicitor & Head of Employment/HR Services
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Date Published:05 Nov 2020 Last Updated:23 Oct 2021

Clinically Extremely vulnerable should not attend work

Employment Law Advice

In light of, “lockdown 2”, the government has issued new guidance to the clinically extremely vulnerable. These are people who are at the highest risk of becoming very unwell if they catch COVD-19. For more information from the Government website click here.

Who is clinically extremely vulnerable and will receive a letter?

There are 2 ways that people are identified as clinically extremely vulnerable:

1.They may suffer from one of the following conditions:

– Solid organ transplant recipients

– Those with specific cancers:

  • People with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy
  • People with lung cancer who are undergoing radical radiotherapy
  • People with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma, who are at any stage of treatment
  • People having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
  • People having other targeted cancer treatments that can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
  • People who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months or who are still taking immunosuppressive drugs

– Those with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

– Those with rare diseases that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), homozygous sickle cell disease)

– Those on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection

– Adults with Down’s syndrome

– Adults on dialysis or with chronic kidney disease (stage 5)

– Women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired

2.Your medical practitioner puts you on the shielding list and issues a letter because you are at high risk.

What is the guidance for the clinically extremely vulnerable?

In addition to the guidance that has been issued to everyone, Stay at home; Do not gather with others; and

Closure of non-essential businesses, the government has issued new guidance specifically to the clinically extremely vulnerable which includes the following:

– Stay at home as much as possible (aside from exercise and medial appointment);

– Strongly advised to work from home;

– If working from home is not possible, those who are clinically extremely vulnerable should not attend work;

– If those who are extremely clinically vulnerable cannot work from home, then they will either be entitled to: SSP or to be placed on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS of Furlough scheme).

Those who are clinically extremely vulnerable will receive a letter form the Secretary of State for Health and Social care which confirms the above. This letter should be given to employers as evidence that the clinically extremely vulnerable must:

– Work from home. If this is not possible be placed on:

– SSP (or some other paid arrangement depending on contract); or

– Agree to be placed on furlough and the employer can claim the CJRS grant. For more information from the Government website, click here.

These measures are currently in place until 2nd December 2020.

The guidance does not apply to those who are living in the same household as someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable. Those living in the same household should follow the guidance for everyone i.e. work from home where possible.

If you have any employment law or HR related queries, please contact Kate Brooks on 01202 057754 or kate.brooks@ellisjones.co.uk.