Employers should be aware that some staff might still be at high risk of serious illness from coronavirus (COVID-19). These people might have received a letter or email from the NHS in the past, identifying them as 'clinically extremely vulnerable' (CEV).
People at high risk should follow the same guidance as everyone else but there could be additional precautions they want to take.
Employers should consider extra steps to keep people at high risk safe, for example by:
- looking at ways to support their work, for example allowing them to work from home where possible
- providing extra safety measures at their workplace
- updating health and safety policies to cover people who are at high risk
When someone at high risk returns to work
People at high risk who have been working from home might now be considering returning to the workplace, or their employer may want them to.
Employers should talk to staff at high risk about:
- if and when they'll return to the workplace
- other flexible working arrangements, including working from home or hybrid working
- what the employer has done to keep the workplace safe
- any concerns the person has about going to the workplace
- any reasonable adjustments they might need if they have a disability
Check the latest government guidance for:
- England – people previously considered clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19 on GOV.UK
- Scotland – Scottish Government advice for people on the Highest Risk List
- Wales – Welsh Government guidance on shielding extremely vulnerable people
If a doctor says someone should stay at home
A doctor may still advise someone who's at high risk to stay at home, even though shielding has stopped. For this situation, check your organisation's:
The employer should talk with the person to understand the issue and see how they can support them. The employer should also consider if the person can continue or start working from home.
If an employee lives with someone who's at high risk
If someone lives with a person who's at high risk, they may be worried about being in the workplace. They should talk with their employer.
The employer should consider what support they can offer, for example agreeing extra safety measures for the workplace, or considering if the person can work from home.