Self-isolation: £10,000 fines for employers threatening redundancy

Published:  21 September, 2020

 Businesses, including garages, are to face fines of up to £10,000 if they threaten staff with redundancy when they have to self-isolate due to COVID-19 symptoms.

The fines for threatening redundancy are intended to send "a clear message that this will not be tolerated,” the government said.

This was just one of a number of measures announced over the weekend. From the end of the month, those who test positive for Coronavirus will be required by law to self-isolate at home, or if they are contacted by test and trace. The penalties for breaking self-isolation will be harsher than before. Fines will start at £1,000 rising to £10,000 for repeat offenders who are expected to be caught by more pro-active contacting of self-isolators.

At the same time, there will be government support for those on low-incomes. They will be able to access Test and Trace Support, a £500 lump sum available to those who cannot work from home which is intended to make up for any lost income. Around 4 million people will qualify, including those receiving universal credit, working tax credit, income-based employment and support allowance, income support, and housing benefit.

Commenting on the stricter rule regime, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "People who choose to ignore the rules will face significant fines. We need to do all we can to control the spread of this virus, to prevent the most vulnerable people from becoming infected, and to protect the NHS and save lives."

The new rules will apply from 28 September in England, but the government added it is "engaging" with the devolved administrations for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to develop a system which is aligned across the UK.

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