Covid Plan B – Do you HAVE to work from home?

As the Prime Minister Announces Plan B measures, does that mean we HAVE to work at home?

The increasing prevalence of Omicron yesterday prompted the Prime Minister to announce that England move to Plan B.

But what is it and what does it mean for you?

Plan B in Summary

Ultimately, Plan B is designed (so says the PM and I’m trying my best not to be cynical) to buy us time to get boosters in arms.

Plan B, in summary:

  • Expands the list of required settings for face masks to most indoor venues, but notably omitting bars and restaurants
  •  Covid Passes are to be required for entry into nightclubs and large gatherings
  • People will once again be asked to work from home

We want to look today at the work from home element.

Do I have to work from home during Plan B measures?

The short answer is no. You don’t have to. But then this isn’t really any different from the last time work from home guidance was in place.

It is, first and foremost, advice as opposed to a mandated order.

And the advice is “work from home if you can.” IN fact, Boris said during his statement:

Go to work if you must but work from home if you can.

Boris Johnson

While there are no longer legal social distancing requirement in place (at the time of writing) employers do have a duty to ensure they minimise the risk for their staff.

So it seems logical that where working from home is feasible, staff should do so for the time being.

But if staff require equipment in the office location or simply don’t have the appropriate working conditions at home, then working from a work location might be more suitable.

So, ultimately, it really does come down to your judgement.

How long will the guidance be in place?

The work from home guidance applies with effect from Monday 13th December. There’s no specific end date right now, though the PM’s implication was that it would be a short term thing. 

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