Business travellers flying into UK could be exempted from 14-day isolation rules

France will no longer be exempted from Britain's 14-day quarantine strategy for arrivals - but business travellers could be spared from going into isolation. Read more: Business travellers flying into UK could be exempted from 14-day isolation rules

Business travellers flying into UK could be exempted from 14-day isolation rules

France will no longer be exempted from Britain’s 14-day quarantine strategy for arrivals – but business travellers could be spared from going into isolation.

The UK Government had initially said on Sunday it would force anyone flying into Britain to remain in isolation for 14 days in a bid to stop new coronavirus infections.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson then spoke to French President Emmanuel Macron to agree a mutual exemption from the measures for tourists from both countries.

However, the UK has now ended proposals for a blanket exemption for France – and is instead looking to spare a limited number of people from the restrictions.

One Whitehall source told the Daily Telegraph: ‘The French don’t want a blanket exemption, only freight and business travel.

‘You have to remember there are multinational firms in Europe that are testing every single one of their workers for coronavirus two times a week.’

Plans to announce the now proposals have been postponed from today until next week as officials on both sides of the Channel try to confirm the details.

Earlier this week British tourists were told they would be able to enjoy holidays in France this summer after they were exempted from the quarantine rules.

But the European Union then warned the UK that it faced huge lawsuits in the European Court of Justice if only France was granted an exemption.

The UK has said all international travellers – apart from those in the common travel area including Ireland and the Channel Islands – will have to self-isolate for 14 days.

Those arriving in the country will be told to supply their contact and accommodation details – and also be strongly urged to use the new NHS contact tracing app.

The authorities will conduct spot checks, with punishments of up to £1,000 fines and deportation for those breaching the new rules.

UK airlines have threatened to ground their fleets over the quarantine scheme amid fears it would effectively kill off any hopes of a resumption of global travel.

The Airport Operators Association, representing Britain’s airports, said it would have a ‘devastating impact’ on the industry.

Pilots’ union Balpa has questioned the ‘scientific basis’ for the quarantine rules and warned the industry would in a ‘death spiral’ without government support.

But the Government said it was supporting airlines through the furlough scheme – which is now in place until the end of October – and flexibility with tax bills.

Meanwhile France will impose quarantine on travellers arriving from Spain in a reciprocal measure after Madrid decided to restrict arrivals from Europe.

From today, Spain will impose a 14-day quarantine period on all travellers to avoid importing new virus cases.

France currently has restrictions on its borders with Schengen, EU countries and the UK – and has proscribed travel to and from non-European countries.

But the French government is hoping to gradually reopen France’s borders ahead of the summer, with June 15 a possible date for deciding on an initial relaxation.

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Business travellers flying into UK could be exempted from 14-day isolation rules

Source : Business Matters More   

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Section 44 – what if an employee won’t return to work post coronavirus?

Originally written by Anna Jordan on Small Business Last Sunday (10 May), Boris Johnson announced that some employees would be returning to work this week. The divisive move has caused outrage among unions and employees who are worried about contracting coronavirus. Some have refused to come in, citing Section 44 of the Employment Rights Act 1996. What is Section 44? Section 44 of Section 44 – what if an employee won’t return to work post coronavirus?

Section 44 – what if an employee won’t return to work post coronavirus?

Originally written by Anna Jordan on Small Business

Last Sunday (10 May), Boris Johnson announced that some employees would be returning to work this week.

The divisive move has caused outrage among unions and employees who are worried about contracting coronavirus.

Some have refused to come in, citing Section 44 of the Employment Rights Act 1996.

What is Section 44?

Section 44 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 applies to every employee but not self-employed contractors. If an employee has a reasonable belief of ‘serious or imminent danger’ to their health and others around them, they can refuse to work on the grounds of Section 44.

They could refuse to work by staying at home, walking out of the workplace or by choosing not to do certain tasks.

We speak to lawyer Matthew Chandler, employment solicitor at A City Law Firm to find out what you should do if employees won’t come to work.

What if an employee refuses to return to work citing Section 44?

Employers should be aware that they have a duty to provide a safe work environment for employees.

They should be looking at doing coronavirus-specific risk assessment. The government have provided guidance to employers, for example keeping a two-metre distance.

Employers should have conducted a thorough risk assessment already. It might also be worth reviewing their written health and safety policy. They should have one if they have more than five employees. They should also assess whether they can supply safety equipment for employees.

So:

  • Have you done a risk assessment?
  • Have you communicated with your employees about the steps taken?
  • Have you thought of creative ways to adapt the workplace to make sure it is safe for employees?

We’re going to be seeing a lot more Section 44 complaints coming into play. For employers, it’s hard – it doesn’t prescribe what’s expected. In short, employees shouldn’t expect detriment if they bring health and safety worries to the employer’s attention.

If the matter isn’t handled carefully, it could lead to claims of constructive dismissal or unfair dismissal. The law will be looking at the belief of the employee. Coronavirus is enough to classify as a danger and a reason not to return to work.

>See also: Health and safety checklist for small businesses: 9 things you need to do

Employers were given short notice of reopening following the Prime Minister’s announcement. What if they haven’t had time to conduct a risk assessment?

Yes – some employers were only given 24 hours. However, in most cases, employers should be doing risk assessments fairly regularly anyway. Coronavirus has been going on for months, they should have considered this an issue for when employees eventually come back. It could be the case that employees don’t return until the employer has done this risk assessment.

If they haven’t done one, employers should consider who they are asking to come into work and if it’s safe to so.

What if an employer couldn’t access their workplace when we were in stricter lockdown to make a more accurate judgment?

I think they should have done a risk assessment of sorts at the beginning of the outbreak. If you couldn’t do a risk assessment during lockdown because you couldn’t access your building, then your safety standard will be based on reasonable grounds.

Would you be happy to do what you’re expecting your employees to do?

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will be doing spot checks to ensure that workplaces are safe for staff. What would happen if they deemed the conditions in a working environment ‘unreasonable’?

If a spot check is done and your workplace is not safe, and you can’t say you’ve taken reasonable action, then the HSE can issue a sanction.

If the employer doesn’t have funds to provide safety equipment, then is it safe for an employee to return to work? That’ll be a matter for the employer and the employee.

An employer will have to balance keeping its doors closed versus trying to create a safer working environment for employees. It’s not clear-cut and it’s different for every business.

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Section 44 – what if an employee won’t return to work post coronavirus?

Source : UK Small Businesses More   

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