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Shielding employees and return to work
From 1 August 2020, those shielding will be able to return to work.
However, as government guidance makes clear, working from home remains the first option and those shielding (an estimated 2 million people) should only return to their workplace if they cannot work from home and their workplace is COVID-19 secure.
Risk assessments for those shielding and returning to work are essential. However, given the concerns of such vulnerable employees, communication with them is vital in agreeing a return to work plan – which may well involve making adjustments to their working conditions (as they are likely to be ‘disabled’ within the meaning of the Equality Act).
Shielded employees can be furloughed provided they have been furloughed for at least three weeks before the end of June. However, they cannot be furloughed if they are receiving SSP. From 1 August, the entitlement to SSP for the purposes of shielding due to COVID-19 will end.