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Great Britain: vulnerable people can return to work in August
Planet Labor, 24 June 2020, n°12018 - www.planetlabor.com

On 22 June, the government announced the imminent end to lockdown arrangements for those most vulnerable (most at risk of suffering from Covid-19). From 06 July those deemed vulnerable to coronavirus will be able to start leaving their homes and will be able to return to their workplaces from 01 August. However, if these employees are able to telework, they should to continue to do so as working from home is still being recommended. Since 21 March, some 2.2 million Britons had been asked to confine themselves on an ongoing basis because of poor health. Among them are people undergoing chemotherapy, pregnant women with heart problems, and people who have been organ donors, or have severe respiratory problems. This change, although gradual, has been strongly criticized by patients’ associations. They fear that frail people, who going forward will no longer be able to take sick leave and if they cannot telework, will be forced to return to companies that do not guarantee them the necessary security. “Employees are protected in law for refusing to come to work where they have a reasonable belief that it poses a serious and imminent threat to their health,” said Paul Holcroft of Croner (expert consultants in Employment Law, HR, and Health & Safety), and he strongly advised employers “to show employees that their health and safety is of paramount importance.” In recent weeks, experts have been warning of a surge of workplace disputes (c.f. article No. 11975).