Coronavirus and disability: new guidance from Businesses Disability Forum on what you should know

With concern around the coronavirus growing in the UK, Business Disability Forum have developed new guidance on what you need to know and what your rights are at work.

The new advice is specifically about coronavirus for disabled employees, customers and clients, along with employers and service providers.

For employees and employers

If you are in employment or are an employer you might have questions surrounding disability or long-term health condition or coronavirus.

If you or some of your employees have a condition or are taking medication that makes them more susceptible to catching infections, allow them to work from home if their job allows it.

If employees are not able to do their job from home, but are protected under the Equality Act 2010, being at a higher risk of infection could be seen as a substantial disadvantage.

Because of their disability employers have a duty to make reasonable adjustments under these circumstances.

The could be to allow the person to take time off from work: whether this time is paid depends on specific circumstances.

Pay

If the employee does not have a disability or long-term health condition that makes them more susceptible but lives with someone who does, they are not entitled to reasonable adjustment under the Equality Act 2010.

Under these circumstances the employer can allow the employee to work from home, but if this is not possible there is no obligation for time off to be paid unless it is taken as annual leave.

Guidance around Statutory Sick Pay, who can receive this and under what circumstances can be taken from the UK Government advice.

If an employer decides to close offices and the employee is unable to work from home, the employer is obligated to continue to pay them their salary.

For service providers, customer and clients

If you have an event scheduled or are due to attend an event but would like a refund as you don’t wan to travel on public transport, the terms and conditions of the tickets purchased could determine if you get a refund.

If the ticket is non-refundable it is up to the service provider whether to issue a refund or not. You might have existing insurance that covers you if you need to cancel.

If an event is cancelled because of coronavirus or related reasons you should be entitled to a refund.

For general advice and information on the coronavirus visit the World Health Organisation (WHO) website, or access UK Government advice here.

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