Dismissal: Coronavirus

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 2nd June 2020.

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Photo of Lord Taylor of Warwick Lord Taylor of Warwick Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports that (1) disabled people, and (2) those who live with a vulnerable person, are being threatened with dismissal if they do not physically return to work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo of Lord Callanan Lord Callanan Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

Government is actively monitoring the impact of Covid-19 on the labour market, including the impact on those with disabilities and on other groups. Employers must comply with the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 to ensure that they do not unlawfully discriminate.

The Public Health advice is clear and we expect employers to act accordingly.

Clinically extremely vulnerable individuals have been strongly advised not to work outside the home. They have been asked to take extra care in observing social distancing and should be helped to work from home, either in their current role or in an alternative role.

If clinically vulnerable (but not extremely clinically vulnerable) individuals cannot work from home, they should be offered the option of the safest available on site roles, enabling them to stay 2m away from others. If they have to spend time within 2m of others, the employer should carefully assess whether this involves an acceptable level of risk.

Those living with clinically extremely vulnerable individuals do not need to start shielding themselves, but they should do what they can to carefully follow guidance on staying alert and safe (social distancing).

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