Roadmap out of lockdown in England – employment implications
On 22 February, the Government announced its four-step roadmap out of lockdown in England. The timescale for the four steps is as follows:
- Step 1 – 8 March
- Step 2 – not before 12 April 2021
- Step 3 – not before 17 May 2021
- Step 4 – not before 21 June
Working from home
The guidance states that individuals should continue to work from home where they can during Steps 1 to 3.
Ahead of Step 4, the Government will complete a review of social distancing measures and other long-term measures that have been put in place. The results of the review will inform guidance on working from home. People should continue to work from home where they can until the review is complete.
Our separate post on current working from home guidance is here.
Additional guidance is already in place for those who are clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV). According to the current shielding guidance, CEV individuals are “strongly advised to work from home”. If CEV employees are not able to work from home, the current guidance is that they should not attend work.
The roadmap guidance states that the Government anticipates that it will no longer be necessary to advise shielding after the end of March 2021. On 17 March 2021, the Government issued a new letter to individuals on the Shielded Patients List confirming that from 1 April they are no longer advised to shield.
Our separate post on current shielding guidance is here.
The Government’s offer of free test kits to workplaces for staff who cannot work at home will be extended to until the end of June. Businesses will need to register interest before 31 March. This will be kept under review by the Government.
Our separate post on rapid workplace testing is here.
The roadmap does not mention the furlough scheme. However, the Government announced an extension of the furlough scheme in the budget on 3 March 2021.
Our separate post on the extension to the furlough scheme is here.
Useful Sources of information
Originally posted 1 March 2021. Updated 19 March 2021.
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