As I write this it’s James’ third week back in school after the lockdown. I am not sure any of us has got used to it yet. Around our way at least one high school has closed to Year 9 as a child has tested positive.
How long before a child in Years R-4 tests positive and their year goes home to self isolate? Probably already happened somewhere. For exactly this reason I want to set out what you need to do if your staff member needs to go home as their child needs to self isolate.
What will have happened?
Well we hope that children aren’t being told to self isolate because their fellow pupil has a snivel. It should be that a child in their bubble (as many as the entire year) has been tested positive for COVID. In that case we understand that the school may send the rest of the bubble home as contacts of this child to self isolate.
Your Staff Member’s rights.
Your staff member is a contact of a contact and not someone who needs to self isolate. Therefore they do not have any right to COVID SSP or any other pay for that matter. If your staff member suddenly finds themselves without childcare your choice is for them to work from home, take unused holiday or take Time Off for Dependents (which is unpaid).
Can I refurlough?
No as you have work for them to do but yet they cannot come and do that work as they do not have childcare.
How many times could this happen?
Lots. If someone has a child in school its quite feasible that during the next 6 weeks a child in their bubble will develop COVID symptoms. It’s also quite possible that your staff members’ child will develop symptoms of COVID (dry cough, temperature, loss of sense of smell/taste and be sent home from school. They then will be instructed to get a test. They can only return when they have a negative test. Getting a test may be easier said than done.
If you have any questions relating to managing Coronavirus in your business, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01527 909436.