Appeals process for staff in critical services told to self-isolateDecember 31, 2020 // No Comments
There is an appeals process for staff employed in critical services (which includes the funeral sector) who have been told to self-isolate due to being a close contact of a person testing positive for Covid19:
Self-isolation due to close contact:
If NHS Test and Trace identify you as a contact and you work in a critical service where the recommendation for you to self-isolate would have impact on providing that critical service, your employer will need to escalate this to the local Health Protection Team (HPT) for a risk-assessment.
- You can read the full guidance here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-test-and-trace-how-it-works
- You can find your local HTP here: https://www.gov.uk/health-protection-team
If you wish to ‘appeal’ an employee self-isolation order then contact the HTP team relevant to the area as directly as above. A Public Health England (PHE) practitioner will undertake a risk assessment with you over the phone. They will assess how close the actual contact with the confirmed positive case was, and what Covid measures you have in place.
You will need to know who the confirmed case was, and name & address of the contact employee who has been asked to self-isolate. Essentially you would need to show that while the employee may have had contact, it was not what is considered to be close contact.
The guidance defines close contact as:
- direct close contacts – face to face contact with an infected individual for any length of time, within 1 metre, including being coughed on, a face to face conversation, or unprotected physical contact (skin-to-skin)
- proximity contacts – extended close contact (within 1 to 2 metres for more than 15 minutes) with an infected individual
- travelling in a small vehicle, like a car, with an infected person
If the risk assessment satisfies PHE that the employee’s contact did not meet the close contact definition as above, they will remove them from the list.
- NHS Test and Trace: how it works An overview of NHS Test and Trace, including what happens if you test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) or have had close contact with someone who has tested positive.
- Find your local health protection team in England Get support from your local health protection team (HPT) to prevent and reduce the effect of diseases and chemical and radiation hazards