New guidance on COVID-19 Vaccination and self isolation has been released to help employers:
COVID‐19 ‘Plan B’ Restrictions to Continue
The Prime Minister has confirmed that the current COVID‐19 restrictions will remain in place to give us the ‘chance to ride out this Omicron wave without shutting down our country again’. It continues to be a legal requirement in England to wear a face covering in most public indoor venues, except hospitality, and individuals should work from home where it is possible to do so. Minimising the spread of the virus, which will help to keep construction sites open and safe, is key for the industry, and the CLC is reviewing the Site Operating Procedures to ensure they reflect the current situation.
The Government is regularly updating the COVID‐19 self‐isolation rules. An individual who has tested positive in England may now stop self‐isolating if they take a lateral flow test from day 6 onwards and another one at least 24 hours later, and both results are negative and they do not have a high temperature. From next Tuesday 11 January, anyone who is asymptomatic will no longer require a confirmatory PCR test following a positive lateral flow test. The Build UK COVID‐19 flowchart continues to be updated in line with the latest rules and please note that different rules apply in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Guidance on COVID‐19 Vaccination
With high infection rates across the UK, businesses may be considering a vaccination policy and the potential use of the NHS COVID Pass for accessing sites. However, Build UK partner Citation, which has produced guidance on vaccination for employers, has confirmed that this is generally not advisable on the basis that introducing a requirement for a COVID Pass to access a place of work would require a change to employees’ terms and conditions, which would call into question whether it is a ‘reasonable’ requirement. Citation also highlights that the recent rules regarding COVID Passes for certain venues do not apply to employees working within those venues and to justify a policy of mandatory vaccination a business would have to show that its risk assessment has identified this as a necessary control which would be extremely difficult to do.
Citation will be hosting a free webinar for Build UK members on Thursday 27 January from 10:00am ‐ 11:00am to discuss and take questions on vaccination and testing of employees.