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Covid-19 and other respiratory conditions can cause serious illness. Use this page to understand what you can do to manage the risk in your workplace.
Actions you can take to help keep your workplace safe include:
For more information, read GOV.UK's guidance on living safely with respiratory infections including covid-19.
Self-isolating is no longer a legal requirement. If a staff member or volunteer tests positive for covid-19 or has covid-19 symptoms in the workplace, they should tell their manager or volunteer coordinator and follow:
The Health and Safety Executive no longer expects every business, including charities, to consider covid-19 in their risk assessment or to have specific measures in place. You can choose whether to include covid-19 in your risk assessments.
You must comply with the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 for welfare facilities. You must also make sure there's adequate ventilation in enclosed areas of their workplace.
There's still a legal requirement to protect those that encounter the virus due to their work activity:
In these cases, you must do a risk assessment and implement control measures.
There's no longer a requirement to shield or identify people as clinically extremely vulnerable. But there remains a smaller number of people whose immune system means they're at higher risk of serious illness from covid-19, despite vaccination. They'll usually be under the care of a clinical specialist.
To minimise risk, you should ensure that those who are more vulnerable:
For more information, read GOV.UK's guidance for people whose immune system means they are at higher risk.
Some people who have had covid-19 may go on to experience symptoms that last for weeks or months after the infection has gone. This is known as long covid. Symptoms can include, fatigue, problems with memory or concentration and dizziness. For more information read the NHS's guidance on the long-term effects of covid-19.
Make sure your staff and volunteers are clear about your sickness policy and be prepared to consider making appropriate adjustments to roles for people affected by long covid.
NCVO members can access our guide to developing your own sickness absence policy.
There's no law in England that requires staff or volunteers to be tested for covid-19 and testing is no longer free for most people.
Those who work in the NHS or adult social care may still be eligible for free tests. The NHS website provides more information about groups that are eligible for free testing.
If, as an employer working within the NHS or adult social care, you decide you want to require staff in particular roles to regularly test for covid-19, you should first talk with your staff or with a recognised trade union or other employee representatives.
You should agree:
Organisations that require their staff or volunteers to get tested but are not eligible for free tests can buy covid-19 tests from some pharmacies and retailers in person or online.
Vaccines are the best defence against covid-19. They provide good protection against hospitalisation and death. Vaccines also reduce the risk of long tern symptoms. The NHS website includes information about the vaccines available and when to have them.
There's currently no law in England, Scotland or Wales that says people must have the vaccine. There may be some people who are advised not to have the vaccine, for example for health reasons.
You should encourage and support staff and volunteers to:
Last reviewed: 27 July 2022Help us improve this content
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