PLAN B: What are my employment rights with renewed guidance to work from home? Citizens Advice sets out everything you need to know about your workplace rights below.
I think I should be working from home under the new guidance, can my employer tell me I’m not allowed to?
The Plan B guidance says that ‘office workers’ should work from home if they can. If you can only do your job by accessing equipment that is located at work, or your work requires you to be present in person, then your employer can require you to come into work.
If your employer says that you can’t work from home but you disagree, start by having an open conversation with them about it. Explain why you would prefer to work from home, and try to demonstrate how it is possible to do so while carrying out all aspects of your job.
What can I do if I’m worried about safety measures at work?
Your employer has a legal duty under the law, and under your contract, to ensure your workplace does not pose a risk to your health and safety. Current guidance says employers should complete a COVID risk assessment and take steps to prevent transmission, including frequent cleaning and social distancing.
What are the rules on mask wearing at work?
Under Plan B, people who work in shops, theatres, cinemas and takeaways without seating for customers will be required to wear a mask unless exempt. However, mandatory mask wearing does not extend to hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, and nightclubs.
Face coverings are also not required in any venue, or part of a venue, that is being used wholly or mainly for eating and drinking.
Workers in some businesses such as event venues will need to provide proof that they are fully vaccinated or have tested negative in the last 48 hours, unless exempt.
I’m uncomfortable about taking public transport, what are my options?
If your job means that you can’t work from home, and you are worried about using public transport to get to work, you should talk to your employer about it.
Your employer’s health and safety duties are limited to things that are under their control. That said, your employer should listen to your concerns if you’re worried about having to use public transport if you can’t work from home.
You could reach an arrangement that you’re comfortable with, for example, asking to travel at quieter times of the day.
What happens if I need to self-isolate?
You shouldn’t go into work if you’re self-isolating because you have coronavirus symptoms, until you have taken and received a negative PCR test.
If someone in your household has tested positive for COVID-19 you must self-isolate if you are not fully vaccinated or if they have been identified as a suspected or confirmed case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
You must tell your employer that you have to self-isolate. It’s worth telling them in writing so you have a record for later use.
If you’re unable to work from home, you may be entitled to benefits, sick pay or a self-isolation payment of £500 from your local council. See the Citizens Advice website for more information.
Citizens Advice drop-in advice sessions in Lyme Regis Council offices are temporarily suspended while the town council are follow Plan B guidance on working from home.
If you need advice on employment or any other issues telephone Freephone 0800-144-8848 or send an email using the contact form on the website www.bridportca.org.uk