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Coronavirus - What Are the Latest Updates on Shielding?

on Friday, 26 February 2021.

The Government has identified a further 1.7 million individuals as 'clinically extremely vulnerable' and at high risk of serious illness if they catch coronavirus. These individuals will be advised by a letter from their GP to shield until 31 March 2021.

To identify these individuals, the Government used a new COVID-19 Population Risk Assessment algorithm. This algorithm analyses a combination of risk factors including age, sex, ethnicity, body mass index, specific health conditions and postcode. This change aims to address the adverse impact of inequalities and disparities following Public Health England's findings including:

  • that the ethnicity of an individual affects the risk of death from coronavirus. For example, people of Bangladeshi ethnicity had around twice the risk of death from coronavirus than people of White British ethnicity
  • that working age males with coronavirus were twice as likely to die as females with coronavirus

Employers should be mindful of their workforce and identify any additional employees who now fall within the 'clinically extremely vulnerable' category, liaising with those employees to make arrangements to comply with the government guidance.

Clinically extremely vulnerable individuals are advised to work from home, but if they cannot work from home they should not attend work. Employers may need to agree alternative arrangements with these individuals, or consider furlough where appropriate.

We can assist with providing relevant advice to comply with the changing government guidance and drafting the necessary documentation.

Coronavirus guidance employers


For legal guidance on the latest updates to shielding, please contact Ellie Boyd in our Employment Law team on 07393 148143, or complete the form below.

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