This policy is designed to provide you with important information about the Coronavirus outbreak and what we are doing to support our staff and our learners. Please continue to take time to read the information and ask questions if you have any concerns.
This policy is non-contractual, it may be amended or added to at any time and it will be updated, as appropriate, to reflect changing advice. It applies to all staff, including those who work for us on a casual basis, but it doesn’t apply to anyone we engage on a self-employed basis.
The main symptoms of Coronavirus (Covid-19) (Coronavirus Symptoms) are:
- a new, continuous cough
- a high temperature
- shortage of breath
But, these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness. The Coronavirus Symptoms are similar to other illnesses that are much more common, such as cold and flu. Current guidance indicates that among those who become infected, some will exhibit no symptoms. Of those who
do develop an illness, the majority will have a mild to moderate illness similar to seasonal flu. A minority will develop complications severe enough to require hospital care, most often pneumonia, and in a small number of these the illness may be severe enough to lead to death.
We are taking all reasonable steps to protect your health and safety. We require all staff to follow these simple steps to help stop the spread of germs like Coronavirus.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- Put used tissues in the bin straight away
- Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds – only use hand sanitiser gel if
soap and water are not available
- Always wash your hands when you get home or into work
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
- Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
- Touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
If you become ill at work, please speak to your line manager as quickly as possible. You should go to an area that is at least two meters away from other people and, if possible, find a room or area where you can be isolated behind a closed door, such as a staff office. If you can, please open a window for ventilation. Please try to avoid unnecessarily touching surfaces.
If you have internet access please use the NHS 111 online service and follow the advice you receive. If you don’t have internet access please call NHS 111, or 999 in an emergency. If you are advised to go home and self isolate, please tell your line manager and then make your way home as safely as possible. If you travel on public transport, please follow any instructions given to you by the NHS staff.
If you become ill at home, please do not come into work. You’ll need to telephone us in accordance with our usual absence policy. If you have internet access please use the NHS 111 online service and follow the advice you receive. If you don’t have internet access, please call NHS 111. You need to tell us if you are advised to self-isolate and if you are being tested for coronavirus.
Please advise us immediately if you test positive for Coronavirus, even if your symptoms are mild. You will not be able to return to work until you are considered fit by Public Health England or any other competent authority. You don’t need to obtain a fit note from your doctor, but please send to us anything you do receive which confirms your diagnosis and/or fitness to return to work.
If you feel well enough to work, please let us know. If your role lends itself to homeworking, we’ll discuss how we can facilitate that.
We will not inform anyone else about your condition unless it’s necessary to do so and we are legally able to. Our overriding obligation is to protect the health and safety of our staff, and we may therefore have to speak to your colleagues and other people with whom you’ve been in close contact in order to protect them. Any information we disclose will be limited to what is necessary for that protection.
Public Health England are responsible for ‘contact tracing’ (tracing anyone you have been in close contact with)and we will cooperate with them as appropriate
New government advice is that people should stay at home if they, or anyone in their household has Coronavirus or has symptoms of Coronavirus. Those at high risk may also have to self-isolate even if they, or anyone in their household doesn’t have symptoms.
This means you should:
- Stay at home
- Not go to work or public areas
- Not use public transport or taxis
- Ask friends, family members or delivery services to carry out errands for you
- Try to avoid visitors to your home, although it’s okay for friends, family and delivery drivers to drop off food
You may need to do this for up to 14 days (longer if you are in a high risk group) to help reduce the possible spread of infection. Please follow the advice you are given. Please follow any additional advice given to you by health professionals. The NHS has detailed advice on self-isolation available here.
If you feel well enough to work, please let us know. If your role lends itself to homeworking, we’ll discuss how we can facilitate that. If you don’t feel well enough to work, or you can’t work from home, please keep in touch with us.
The government has up-to-date information for individuals who have traveled overseas and returned to the UK. If you have been abroad recently, please consult this and inform us if you are required to self-isolate
We will keep matters under review and will follow NHS and government advice. Currently, we recommend that
- Only travel if it is essential to do so outside of attending your normal workplace
- Please hold telephone or video conferences unless a face-to-face meeting is essential.
- If you are due to attend external events, please check with the event organisations and speak to us if you are
unhappy about attending.
- Take precautions for essential face to face meetings
Please follow NHS advice. It’s also sensible to avoid shaking hands. Please speak to your manager if you are worried about traveling.