I am worried about going to work in case I catch the virus – what can I do?

Whilst most people have been told to work from home where possible, you may not be able to. Perhaps you are a key worker or your employer falls under the essential services category.

In this case you should speak to your employer explaining why you are concerned. If your concern is genuine, for example, you are more susceptible to complications if you catch COVID-19, then they should try to take steps to protect your health and safety.

One example of this would be flexible working – perhaps you could only go in when the supermarket is closed to restock shelves, which would limit your exposure to customers? Or perhaps you could carry out car repairs in the evening when your colleagues have gone home? Please bear in mind though that, depending on your job, your employers may not be able to leave you on your own in case you suffer an accident and can’t call for help.

If you are unable to agree alternative working arrangements with your employer and you still don’t want to go into work, you be able to ask if you can take the time as holiday or unpaid leave.  However, your employer does not have to agree to this.

You may be tempted, if all else fails, to just not attend work. Be warned though – this could result in your employer taking disciplinary action against you although whether this would be successful or not will depend on your particular circumstances.


rhw solicitors GuildfordNeed employment law advice?

Call 01483 302000 and ask to speak to Sarah Twigger Thompson, or email guildford@rhw.co.uk