Article by Belinda Ryan, local democracy reporter
Unvaccinated Cheshire East staff who take time off work to self-isolate as a close contact of a Covid-19 case won’t be classed as being off sick.
From today (Monday 16th August) people who are double jabbed or aged under 18 will no longer be legally required to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact of a positive Covid-19 case. Instead they are encouraged to get a PCR test.
But those who haven’t had both jabs will still have to self-isolate.
It has been reported that one North West council is considering changing its policy so any self-isolation because of close contact with a positive Covid-19 case would be counted as sickness absence.
Cheshire East has told the Local Democracy Reporting Service it has no current plans to change its policy.
A spokesperson for Cheshire East Council said: “The health and safety of our staff is paramount to us.
“We have been working hard to promote the information and facts about the coronavirus vaccines to both our staff and local community.
“We are actively encouraging all our staff to have the vaccine so that they are not only protecting themselves and their families, but also protecting the delivery of our key front line services.
“Where possible we support any members of staff who are self-isolating to work from home.
“Staff who are required to self-isolate and are unable to work from home, are recorded as ‘self-isolating’.
“A sickness absence is only recorded when an employee reports as unfit for work. There are no current plans to change our policy and approach to this.”
The government says anyone who tests positive following a PCR test will still be legally required to self-isolate, irrespective of their vaccination status or age.