Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for employers and employees

Staying at home and social distancing

Current government advice is for everyone to stay at home, except in specific situations.

This includes:

  • only going outside for food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home)
  • staying 2 metres (6 feet) away from other people ('social distancing')
  • avoiding busy commuting times on public transport where travel is essential
  • washing your hands as soon as you get home

Employers should support their workforce to take these steps. This might include agreeing more flexible ways of working.

For full guidance on staying at home, see:

Working from home

For any employee working from home, the employer should:

  • pay the employee as usual
  • keep in regular contact
  • check on the employee's health and wellbeing

Find out more about:

If an employee does not want to go to work

Some people might feel they do not want to go to work if they're afraid of catching coronavirus. This could particularly be the case for those who are at higher risk.

An employer should listen to any concerns staff may have and should take steps to protect everyone.

For example, they could offer extra car parking where possible so that people can avoid using public transport.

If an employee still does not want to go in, they may be able to arrange with their employer to take the time off as holiday or unpaid leave. The employer does not have to agree to this.

If an employee refuses to attend work without a valid reason, it could result in disciplinary action.

Find out more about absence from work.

Coronavirus: advice for employers and employees
Last reviewed