Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Returning to work after being off sick with COVID-19

When someone has been off sick with coronavirus (COVID-19) and is ready to go back to work, they should talk with their employer as early as possible.

They could discuss:

  • how and when they’ll return, for example if it will be to the workplace, or if they need a phased return
  • any concerns they have about returning to work
  • how the employer is keeping the workplace safe
  • if an occupational health assessment could help

The effects of COVID-19 are still being understood and the person might experience long COVID. People with long COVID might need ongoing support and further sick leave after they’ve returned to work.

Find out more about long COVID.

If other staff have concerns

Other staff might be worried about being exposed to the virus if someone who’s had COVID-19 or has long COVID comes back to work.

It’s not usually necessary for someone to be tested for COVID-19 after they’ve been ill with it.

The employer should:

  • reassure staff by making clear how they’re keeping the workplace safe and avoiding close contact between people wherever possible
  • keep communication open but check first with the person who’s had COVID-19 about any details they want kept confidential
  • encourage an inclusive working environment

If someone starts to get COVID-19 symptoms, they must tell their employer straight away and follow self-isolation guidance.

Last reviewed