Redundancy SelectionPosted in : Seamus Says - Employment Law Discussion on 11 September 2020
Scott: "If someone hit the company's absence trigger, would you have to exclude occasions that were due to self-isolation?"
Seamus: Yeah, look, my thoughts on that would be that there should be a policy by the company or by the employer, ideally a written policy, in relation to how they're going to treat those periods of absences. Whether it's because of they've been sick and genuinely absent as a result of contracting coronavirus or alternatively because they've had to self-isolate. And, you know, we know that the government's stance in relation to self-isolation was that if you were self-isolating as a result of symptoms or for one of the other reasons early on that, you could classify it as sick. You could be given SSP for up to the 14 days, which was recoverable back from the government.
Obviously, look, you know, the position is different in relation to those that are quarantining. That's a different position. But the government said, "No, you're not sick during that period." They are still absence periods. I think my view would be that we are in exceptional times at the minute in and around coronavirus. And I think that, you know, given the position that we're in a global pandemic, that employers should, you know, be on the softer and forgiving side when it comes to absences as a result of either contracting or where you've had to self-isolate because of fear of being in contact with someone or where symptoms have arisen.
So my view would be that a more sympathetic approach by the employer would be required.
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