Do I have to go back to work after lockdown?

Do I have to go back to work after lockdown?


The government has started easing lockdown restrictions, with more people now encouraged to start returning to work.

But for many, concerns remain about the risk of contracting the coronavirus once back in the workplace.

Can you be forced back to work and what are your rights if you are?

What has the government said?
On Sunday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that those who could not work from home should be “actively encouraged to go to work” in England.

Mr Johnson singled out people in construction and manufacturing as those who could not work from home, who should return to building sites and factories.

The devolved governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are sticking with the government’s former mantra of: “Stay at home” and not encouraging a return to work.

I’m in an at-risk group, will I have to go back to work?
The 1.5 million people in England classified as being at high-risk if they catch coronavirus were advised not to leave their homes for 12 weeks from 23 March.

They included people who have received organ transplants or are on immunosuppression drugs.

Faye Law, senior adviser and conciliator at the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) says these people, and millions of others considered extremely vulnerable, are not expected to return to their workplace.

Separately, people who are at-risk – but did not receive a letter from the government encouraging them to shield for 12 weeks – could have to return to work, but Ms Law says their employer should ensure strict social distancing rules are in place.