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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Related Absences

Transitional People Management Guidance: April – July 2022

Recording absence

It is essential that all absences are entered via the MyView account as soon as they are reported: Recording Absence. myview-guidance-english.pdf

In terms of recording transitional covid absence,  the codes that are to be used can be found here.

Self-Isolation – symptomatic and tested positive

From 28th March 2022 there is no legal requirement to self-isolate. This has been replaced by Welsh Government guidance to test using a Lateral Flow Test (LFT) if symptomatic and isolate if positive (testing on day 5 and 6 prior to leaving isolation).

You will have employees who are still attending their place of work and employees who are working at home. The following guidance applies in both instances:

Any member of staff who is symptomatic should:

  • Take a Lateral Flow Test (LFT);
  • If the test is negative continue to attend work if fit to do so or if unwell call their manager as early as possible to report their sickness absence;
  • If the test result is positive call their manager as early as possible to report that they are self-isolating;
  • A GP’s ‘fit note’ will not be required for the self-isolation period. (Self-isolation ends after 5 full days unless you still test positive on a lateral flow test. If this is the case you should remain in self-isolation until you can return 2 consecutive negative LFT tests, or until day 10, whichever is sooner;
  • If they’re well enough to work and are homeworking, they should continue to work from home;
  • If they’re not well enough to work or their role is not suitable for homeworking, then they must not attend work for the duration of the isolation period;

It is important that managers continue to provide appropriate support to employees through the Authority’s sickness absence and wellbeing procedures currently as we continue to have a duty of care to our employees.

Self-isolation – asymptomatic and tested positive

From 28th March 2022 there is no legal requirement to self-isolate. Routine asymptomatic workplace testing will cease. Access by the general public to LFTs for routine asymptomatic use will also cease. Routine asymptomatic testing in childcare and education settings, except special education settings and dedicated units, will cease at end of the Easter term.

However, there may be surplus stocks of LFTs remaining in circulation within our workforce.

You will have employees who are still attending their place of work and employees who are working at home. The following guidance applies in both instances:

Any member of staff who is asymptomatic and tested positive via a LFT should:

  • Call their manager as early as possible to report that they are self-isolating;
  • A GP’s ‘fit note’ will not be required for the self-isolation period. (Self-isolation ends after 5 full days unless you still test positive on a lateral flow test. If this is the case you should remain in self-isolation until you can return 2 consecutive negative LFT tests, or until day 10, whichever is sooner;
  • If they’re well enough to work and are homeworking, they should continue to work from home;
  • If they’re not well enough to work or their role is not suitable for homeworking, then they must not attend work for the duration of the isolation period;
  • It is important that managers continue to provide appropriate support to employees through the Authority’s sickness absence and wellbeing procedures currently as we continue to have a duty of care to our employees.

Self-isolation – general respiratory infection and fit to work

You will have employees who are still attending their place of work and employees who are working at home. The following guidance applies in both instances:

Any member of staff who is has a general respiratory infection but fit to work should:

  • Call their line manager at the earliest opportunity;
  • If they are homeworking, they should continue to work from home;
  • If their role is not suitable for homeworking, then strictly adhere to the workplace risk assessment;
  • Follow Welsh Government guidance:
    • Get vaccinated and stay up to date with their Covid-19 vaccinations
    • Follow the latest public health advice;
    • Follow latest Welsh Government guidance in relation to face coverings https://gov.wales/face-coverings-guidance-public
    • Meet outdoors where possible and ensure good ventilation if indoors
    • Take additional precautions when visiting vulnerable people, and avoid meeting them if possible if experiencing symptoms of respiratory infection;
    • Wash hands regularly, cover coughs and sneezes, and wear face coverings in close contact areas.

It is important that managers continue to provide appropriate support to employees through the Authority’s sickness absence and wellbeing procedures currently as we continue to have a duty of care to our employees.

Self-isolation – social care workers

For staff working in a social care setting please refer to your line manager for further guidance.

Pay

An employee who is symptomatic with a positive LFT and prevented from attending work because of coronavirus is entitled to receive normal pay. The self-isolation period, i.e. The first 5 days of sickness absence (and up to a maximum of 10 days) due to coronavirus, shall not be reckoned against the employee’s entitlements under the sickness pay scheme. For social care workers this will be in line with the latest Welsh Government advice on self-isolation periods.

Normal sick pay arrangements will apply from the 11th day of absence if the employee continues to be unwell. During the 10-day self-isolation period there is no requirement for self/medical certificates to be submitted. A ‘fit note’ is required from the 11th day of absence from their GP.

For social care workers normal sick pay arrangements commences from the day after the required self-isolation period ceases.

Sickness absence triggers

In terms of triggers, any coronavirus self-isolation period, i.e. the first 5 days (up to a maximum of 10 days) of sickness absence due to coronavirus reported and recorded against the coronavirus code does not count towards the triggers for instigating formal processes.

For social care workers this will be in line with the latest Welsh Government advice regarding self-isolation periods for social care workers.

Occupational Health

Occupational Health continue to take new referrals where fitness to work and/or wellbeing advice is required.

Vaccination

Welsh Government has given its commitment to deliver a regular Covid-19 vaccination programme for 2022 and beyond. Planning is underway for an autumn booster programme as part of a holistic vaccine programme including its flu vaccine roll out.

Social care guidance currently in relation to staff that are not fully vaccinated: Health and Social Care Workers: Testing Flow Charts (gov.wales)

Requests for time off for any vaccination should be managed in line with the corporate Time Off policy

Extremely / Clinically Vulnerable staff (E/CV)

Managers are advised to continue to follow the latest HSE/WG guidance in conjunction with OH advice for ECV/CV staff but monitor any changes in that advice.

Please read the latest corporate guidance to mitigate risks for these employees.

Pregnant employees

Managers are advised to follow HSE guidance in relation to pregnant workers but monitor any changes in advice Protecting new and expectant mothers at work - HSE

Please use the latest corporate new and expectant mothers risk assessment

 Annual leave

The covid annual leave guidance maintains the provision for carry over of statutory untaken annual leave where it has not been reasonable to take leave during pandemic for two leave years from date of implementation on 26th March 2020.

Page updated: 30/06/2022 10:01:56