ROGUE employers who try to force people self-isolating into work will face £1,000 fines from today.
Employers are already banned from requiring self-isolating employees to come to work, but now it will be illegal and people will face tough punishments.
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Fresh laws brought in in England to try and stop the spread of the bug mean those on low incomes can also claim £500 if they need to stay home over coming into contact with someone with the virus.
It is now a crime to knowingly allow workers to attend anywhere other than the home they are isolating in.
There are a handful of exemptions that people are able to leave their homes – but if you’ve got no excuse it will cost you at least £1,000 too.
You must tell your employer you have to self-isolate as well, or that will set you back £50.
Anyone with coronavirus symptoms should be remaining at home and isolating for 10 days.
Anyone who has had close contact with them – more than 15 minutes within 2metres – should isolate too.
Employers can be fined up to £10,000 for repeat offenders and forcing them to work anyway.
This is a fixed penalty notice but could also lead to prosecution in the courts.
Directors and managers could be prosecuted personally if they are found to be negligent.
When can I break self-isolation rules and not be fined?
- To seek urgent medical assistance
- To go to a vet when urgently required
- To fulfil legal obligations – such as attend a bail hearing
- To avoid risk of harm, such as by fleeing a domestic abuse situation
- To obtain basic necessities like food if you can’t get them another way – like via a delivery or a friend
- To attend a funeral of a close family member
- To access critical services
- To move to a different location – but only if you have to and cannot delay
People only need to isolate if they have been contacted by the NHS Track and Trace service to self-isolate – but if they get an alert from the new app then it’s not legally binding.
It’s thought that people not isolating when they should be is the cause of a huge number of the fresh coronavirus cases sweeping across the nation.