Novel coronavirus issues for charity employers

The novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has not yet become established in the UK population, and the Government is concentrating its efforts on preventing, or at least delaying, an epidemic.  

On 10 February, it passed emergency legislation (effective in England only) which gives it powers to impose screening and isolation in the “rare circumstances where voluntary cooperation cannot be obtained”.

The possibility of staff being placed in quarantine to prevent the spread of an infectious disease raises issues for employers that have not commonly been encountered since the SARS outbreak more than 15 years ago, and charities should consider what steps they may have to take if an employee is infected or asked to self-isolate.

For more on the issues facing employers, including appropriate preventative measures, broader staff welfare issues, assessments of organisational risk, and sources of advice, see our article.

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