COVID-19 – Fines for employers in England

New regulations came into effect in England on 28th September 2020, meaning that employers could face fines of up to £10,000 if they knowingly allow or force staff to attend work when they should be self-isolating. These fines only apply in England currently, but ministers are discussing whether the fines should be extended to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

A number of other new rules came into effect on 28th September 2020 in England, with one rule making it a legal requirement for individuals to self-isolate if they test positive for Coronavirus or if they are told to self-isolate by the NHS Track and Trace system (an app available on smartphones).

In addition, employees in England now have a legal duty to inform their employers if they have tested positive for Coronavirus or if they are required to self-isolate by the NHS Track and Trace system. Once an employer has been informed, it could face fines starting at £1,000, up to a maximum of £10,000 (for repeat offenders) if it allows or forces staff members who should be self-isolating to attend work.

If an employee tests positive for Coronavirus and they are well enough to work from home/their place of self-isolation then they should be allowed to do so.

In light of these new regulations, it is crucial that employers in England inform their employees of the new rules and ensure that their line managers are adhering to the regulations.

We await to see if these rules will be extended to the rest of the UK and will endeavour to keep you updated.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any other aspect of employment law at 02920 345 511 or