• This topic has 41 replies, 21 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by pondo.
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  • A self-isolating employee query
  • Premier Icon pondo
    Full Member

    Hello friends – a person I know has a work colleague who’s called in sick as they’re exhibiting Covid symptoms. They have decided to self-isolate themselves for ten days, but are declining to seek a test – is that allowed? Just seems a bit like a lengthened sickie to me…

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Full Member

    no idea

    can they work from home ?

    Premier Icon frankconway
    Full Member

    Given the farce that is the testing ‘system’ it’s seems legit to me – but shouldn’t stop them from WFH.

    Premier Icon pondo
    Full Member

    They’re doing the minimal of mailing in what their colleagues need to do to cover on a daily basis, but there’s little more that they can do from home – it’s more a matter of, can they decline to take a test for a potential illness they’re off sick for, when A) it may indicate clearly whether or not they’re swinging the lead, and B) that may have potentially major issues for the people they work with (ie, if they DO test positive, the rest of their bubble needs to self-isolate too)?

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Full Member

    Has anyone asked them why they don’t want a test ?

    If I were their employer I’d be looking at finding them alternative duties – and consulting my HR dept if the company has one.

    If I really thought they were taking the piss I might also be phoning them at home rather than accepting emails – maybe a couple of times a day. After all, they can’t leave the house during that period so it’d be no bother finding them.

    Premier Icon csb
    Full Member

    Presumably anyone wanting to pull a fast one could just say they’ve had a test and it was positive. Does covid testing generate a statutory sick note? And is it officially notifiable?

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Full Member

    a person I know has a work colleague who’s

    What does it have to do with them? That’s a question for their employer.

    it’s more a matter of, can they decline to take a test for a potential illness they’re off sick for

    That’s arse-backwards. Are they obliged to get tested? You can self-certify for seven days’ sickness and don’t need to see a doctor.

    They’re doing the minimal of mailing in what their colleagues need to do to cover on a daily basis, but there’s little more that they can do from home

    Are they actually “off sick” or are they “working from home”? If the former then they’re not doing the ‘minimal’ but rather they’re working when they shouldn’t be.

    This all sounds a bit “free holiday” green-eyed monster to me. Would your friend rather they were in work potentially hospitalising half the building?

    Has anyone asked them why they don’t want a test ?

    If they live in Lancashire there’s no choice, we’ve run out.

    Premier Icon frankconway
    Full Member

    Are they actually “off sick” or are they “working from home”?

    SSP is £95/week; minimum wage for >25 yr old is £8.72/hr; 37.5 hrs/wk = £372.
    No-one in their right mind would choose SSP over WFH – unless they were truly incapable of work.

    Premier Icon pondo
    Full Member

    What does it have to do with them? That’s a question for their employer

    The person I know line manages the colleague – the employer’s just sort of going “meh – if they do it again, we’ll clobber them”.

    That’s arse-backwards. Are they obliged to get tested? You can self-certify for seven days’ sickness and don’t need to see a doctor.

    That’s kind of the crux of the post, really – employee says “I’m showing these symptoms and am therefore taking ten days off – I am also declining to take a test” (which, Hancock has just assured me on R4, is easily available nationwide) – is there any obligation to take a test if you have symptoms and are isolating? Not least because their work bubble should also self-isolate if the employee tests positive?

    This all sounds a bit “free holiday” green-eyed monster to me.

    Definite elements of this. 🙂

    Would your friend rather they were in work potentially hospitalising half the building?

    Not if they have it, no. But without a test, it looks like, walks like and quacks like a ten day freebie.

    Premier Icon Nick
    Full Member

    I managed to get a test pretty easily yesterday, I guess it varies from region to region but neither location I was offered were in the county I live, had to drive 30 miles in the end, no big deal.

    Don’t we have an obligation to get tested if we might have Covid? This is how track and trace is supposed to work and without it no one you might have come in contact with would be notified. Do they live on their own an never go out? Sounds like a bit of an a-hole really.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Full Member

    Presumably anyone wanting to pull a fast one could just say they’ve had a test and it was positive

    Which is why employers ask for proof.

    Premier Icon Sui
    Free Member

    Which is why employers ask for proof.

    the TUC guidance says

    if evidence is required by an employer, those with symptoms of coronavirus can
    get an isolation note from NHS 111 online, and those who live with someone that
    has symptoms can get a note from the NHS website

    however it’s employer discretion (edited – it’s employer, not employee))
    https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note/

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Full Member

    If they live in Lancashire there’s no choice, we’ve run out.

    Hancock says you are lying. I’m far more inclined to believe you than him.

    Premier Icon dangeourbrain
    Full Member

    Being off with symptoms is what it is, not seeking a test when you’re displaying symptoms is however certainly in breach of rule 1 and, in my work place, your be sternly reminded of your H&S obligations to not put yourself or others at risk, and that by failing to seek a test you’re doing exactly that. You’d be getting a letter inviting you to explain why, seek a test or if you continue not to, to appoint your representative as you’d likely be facing a [potential gross] misconduct disciplinary on return.

    People get ill, it’s part of life as is accepting that as a normal part of business.

    People seriously risking the health of colleagues and the business through inaction on the other hand is not.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Full Member

    Sui that’s not positive tests.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    10 days is an odd length of time is it not?

    Premier Icon Flaperon
    Free Member

    Hello friends – a person I know has a work colleague who’s called in sick as they’re exhibiting Covid symptoms. They have decided to self-isolate themselves for ten days, but are declining to seek a test – is that allowed?

    They shouldn’t be having a test, so they’re doing exactly the right thing.

    Premier Icon trail_rat
    Free Member

    hancock was on the BEEB this morning saying that even after a negative test you should be self isolating for 10 days anyway due to the incubation period.

    Mentalist. Hes literally making it up on the spot.

    Premier Icon jam-bo
    Full Member

    10 days is an odd length of time is it not?

    goverment guidance:

    How long to self-isolate
    If you have symptoms or have tested positive for coronavirus, you’ll usually need to self-isolate for at least 10 days.

    You’ll usually need to self-isolate for 14 days if:

    someone you live with has symptoms or tested positive
    someone in your support bubble has symptoms or tested positive
    you’ve been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace

    Premier Icon dangeourbrain
    Full Member

    called in sick as they’re exhibiting Covid symptoms.

    They shouldn’t be having a test,

    Is the wrong answer.

    hancock was on the BEEB this morning saying that even after a negative test you should be self isolating for 10 days anyway due to the incubation period.

    Not true, he said if you’ve come into contact with someone so get a test*, [when you’re asymptomatic, possibly exposed less than 24 hrs ago etc] that getting tested was pointless, you still need to self isolate because any negative result is meaningless.

    *e. G. Little Johnny has symptoms, now his entire class tries to book a test, symptomatic or no. It pointless, they’ll almost undoubtedly come back negative yet in 5 days time might well all have symptoms be positive and shrug it off because they got tested and it was negative.

    Premier Icon miketually
    Full Member

    Don’t we have an obligation to get tested if we might have Covid?

    We certainly have a moral duty, if not a legal one.

    Premier Icon Sui
    Free Member

    Drac
    Full Member
    Sui that’s not positive tests

    agree, and that’s the point for the OP, the employee is saying they have symptons. If you have a poistive test, then there is further guidance/rules to follow.

    The point of the my post is to highlight, that should the employer wish, he can force the “symptom shower” to provide a sympton note, this is often enought to make people think carefully if what they are doing is right.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Full Member

    The point of my post was replying to the person I quoted that if you test positive an employer will likely ask for the results.

    Premier Icon eddiebaby
    Full Member

    SSP is £95/week; minimum wage for >25 yr old is £8.72/hr; 37.5 hrs/wk = £372.
    No-one in their right mind would choose SSP over WFH – unless they were truly incapable of work.

    This seems the key part in this case. Is he taking sick time or expecting to be paid as if working? I’ve been self employed most of my life so I have no idea what the rules are in this situation.

    Premier Icon uggski
    Full Member

    Just tried to book a test and just get a message saying to try later as the service is very busy!

    Premier Icon Nick
    Full Member

    @uggski I had that experience yesterday, I tried again after an hour, fully expecting it to continue to disappoint me and I found a test and was tested 90 minutes later.

    Premier Icon lerk
    Free Member

    I called in on Wednesday morning as I’ve got a standard ‘kids-have-gone-back-to-school’ cold and as I can work from home fairly effectively in the short term, thought it best to do so.
    Boss then says, get a test and no-one is to return to work without a negative test…

    I really don’t want to be part of the problem and hog a test with no symptoms and pointed this out to him and also pointed him to the news reports describing the situation (he’s currently in the middle east on ‘essential’ travel).
    I have however been trying to get a test:
    First day of trying – nothing offered and at least 15mins per refresh.
    Second day – one offer of a drive through test available 5 hour round trip
    Today – Blow me! 2 slots at a test centre <10miles away, click to book and no times are available today or tomorrow, whether drivethrough or walk in. Same result with a second test centre offered at the same time <20miles away.

    It seems like the system has been written by gibbons as instructed by their chimp paymasters.

    edited to add – South Yorkshire

    Premier Icon Flaperon
    Free Member

    Boss then says, get a test and no-one is to return to work without a negative test…

    No offence, but the only chimp paymaster here is your boss. If he (or she) wants their employees to have a negative test before the return to work, then they should pay for private tests which are readily available.

    Not only are you taking up a slot at a testing centre from someone who might genuinely need it, you’re wasting public money, the time of test-and-trace if you get a positive result, and the time of everyone who might have to self-isolate if that result is a false positive.

    Premier Icon stevextc
    Free Member

    neither location I was offered were in the county I live, had to drive 30 miles in the end, no big deal.

    Despite what others may have done driving a 30 mile trip if you think your driving is impaired and you think you can’t see properly is still illegal.

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Full Member

    Blame the public in full effect – they may not be able to run a country, but they sure know how to control the narrative.

    Premier Icon jeffl
    Full Member

    They can only self certify for 7 days so if no test result or doctors note after that by the letter of most contracts they wouldn’t be getting sick pay. What has the organisation done in relation to self cert duration?

    Premier Icon Nick
    Full Member

    @flaperon

    What are you talking about? Its about the only thing that is actually clear from government guidance, if you have symptoms, get tested.

    You might think that for average Joe public that is a waste of time. But you’re wrong.

    People you share a house with also have to self-isolate until you know if you test positive or not, and you can’t work and you shouldn’t leave the house, the sooner you know either way, the sooner you can go back to work and your family can go back to normal.

    Perfectly reasonable for an employer to ask for a negative test before you return, partly out of duty of care to you, but also what if you infect the rest of the work-force?

    Premier Icon Nick
    Full Member

    @stevextc

    Where did I say my driving was impaired? I was fine, mild headache, sense of taste off, fever from previous night completely gone.

    I very much doubt I have the plague, still waiting for result over 24 hours later, but the whole point of the testing is to check, positive or negative, so you know what to do.

    Premier Icon stevextc
    Free Member

    Where did I say my driving was impaired?

    That’s fine then, but unless you have good connections don’t bung the family in the car and drive to Barnard Castle and use your impairment as an excuse.

    Premier Icon stevextc
    Free Member

    Its about the only thing that is actually clear from government guidance, if you have symptoms, get tested.

    Clear? Sounds like you need to get a test at home.

    If you have coronavirus symptoms:
    a high temperature
    a new, continuous cough
    a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste
    Get a test and stay at home

    Premier Icon Flaperon
    Free Member

    @Nick

    My post wasn’t replying to you – I completely agree, if you have Covid 19 symptoms you should get a test.

    My ire was directed at the boss of someone who was insisting on a test for symptomless employees before they return to work (I think they’d been in contact with someone who had Covid 19).

    Premier Icon Nick
    Full Member

    Cheers @flaperon, yeah obviously symptomless is a waste of a test

    @stevextc – just following the instructions here

    https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/get-a-test-to-check-if-you-have-coronavirus/

    Premier Icon stevextc
    Free Member

    Nick….
    Yep so it’s not clear since I was following

    https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

    (which incidentally was #1 google “covid advice uk”)

    I’m not saying you did the wrong thing… I’m just pointing out sod all is actually clear.

    Premier Icon frankconway
    Full Member

    I have however been trying to get a test:
    First day of trying – nothing offered and at least 15mins per refresh.
    Second day – one offer of a drive through test available 5 hour round trip
    Today – Blow me! 2 slots at a test centre <10miles away, click to book and no times are available today or tomorrow, whether drivethrough or walk in. Same result with a second test centre offered at the same time <20miles away.

    I’ve been trying for days; live in Lincoln.
    This morning – deep joy, test availability today at local site; race through process, choose 4 – 4.30pm slot, hit ‘save and continue’. Taken back to start of process.
    Go again, earliest slot now 5 – 5.30pm so choose that, save and continue. Back to start of process – again.
    Another try – now, no test sites found.
    No email confirmation received.
    No booking = no test.
    Farce?
    It’s so much more serious than that.
    It’s a clear dereliction of the government’s public health duty and responsibility.

    Premier Icon itsallgood
    Free Member

    NHS says get a test and stay at home until you get a result https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/#symptoms

    Employment advice on directing to take a test seems to rest under ‘reasonble management’ instructions, but this could be subject to debate on both sides, for example- https://www.stevens-bolton.com/site/insights/articles/can-employers-demand-staff-take-a-covid19-test

    Accessiblity of testing regiemes would make for an interesting argument. Employer pays for a private test?

    d

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