Covid-19 – Latest Guidance – 1.00pm 19 March 2021

John Cook


  • Shielding advice for the clinically extremely vulnerable to stop from 1st
  • More than 3.79 million clinically extremely vulnerable people in England will be informed they are no longer advised to shield.
  • People on shielded patient list will receive letters from 18th March with updated guidance on steps people can take to reduce their risk.
  • More than 9 in 10 clinically extremely vulnerable people have been vaccinated with a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The full press release is here – Shielding advice for the clinically extremely vulnerable to stop from April


The full letter is here – Letter to clinically extremely vulnerable.  Direct quotes from the letter:-

‘Although clinically extremely vulnerable people will no longer be advised to shield, we still recommend that you take extra precautions to protect yourself while the virus is still spreading in our communities. The updated guidance provides practical steps that cover things like socialising, travel and going to work and school.’

‘Everyone is advised to continue to work from home where possible, but if you cannot work from home you should now attend your workplace. Your employer is required to take steps to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace and should be able to explain to you the measures they have put in place to keep you safe at work.’

Our advice

  • In all cases, if you can make an adjustment to allow a member of staff to work from home, you should consider doing so.
  • If that is not possible then they should still come to work even if CEV from 1st
  • You can encourage and reassure through the risk assessment process and have an individual risk assessment for them.
  • If they still refuse to come to work you should try and agree that their absence would be unpaid leave.
  • If they will not agree you can refuse to pay.
  • Ultimately, it could be a disciplinary as a result of a failure to follow a reasonable management instruction (i.e. by refusing to come to work) but that would be a last resort.
  • Always better to agree something if you can. It is really a question of being reasonable, setting the right example for others and being consistent.  If the individual has a genuine reason for not wanting to come to work that will be relevant.  However, the needs of the school are the deciding factor.

General Guidance

The general coronavirus guidance starts here:-

John Cook – Solicitor

John Cook

I am a qualified Solicitor with over 30 years’ experience running a business, managing a team, appearing in the Employment Tribunal and advising on almost every conceivable employment law and HR issue. Clients appreciate my down to earth and straight forward approach that allows them to achieve results and manage their organisation more effectively. I take the worry out of employment law and HR issues with a proactive and robust approach.