Covid Stay at Home

4 January 2021 | COVID

Earlier this afternoon, the First Minister for Scotland has told us to stay at home, similar to the national lockdown we had in March 2020.

With a lot of Scottish businesses still closed today for the Bank Holiday, plans for tomorrow will look very different. The new restrictions come into force at midnight.

The Scottish lockdown includes the closure of schools for the majority of pupils until February 1st.  This will no doubt cause a number of issues for working parents.  The message today was that homeworking for those that can do so should continue and people who are shielding have been advised not to go into work.

It was also announced that workplace canteens will need to reinforce the 2-metre rule for social distancing, rather than 1 metre.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme remains open until the end of April for eligible employees.

Key changes employers should be aware of:

  • Changes announced apply to all of Mainland Scotland.
  • It will now be a legal requirement to stay at home and not leave home except for essential purposes, such as essential shopping, exercise or travelling to work where it is not possible to work from home.
  • This means for those employees that can work from home must do so and nobody should travel to work unless it is not possible to work from home.
  • Anyone previously required to shield and not able to work from home should not go into work at all. The Chief Medical Officer will write to those concerned which will act as a fit note.
  • Schools will remain closed to the majority of pupils until 1 February and this will apply to all pupils – except vulnerable children, and children of key workers. It includes nursery schools, as well as primary and secondary schools.  This decision which will be reviewed in mid-January.
  • Strict travel restrictions will remain in place and travel between local authority areas remains unlawful, except where travel is for essential purposes.

An update from the Prime Minister is expected later to outline the changes within England.

As always, if you need any advice on this topic, or any other HR related matter, please contact us – or telephone 01383 668178.

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