As the Omicron variant of Covid-19 spread rapidly across the UK, Plan B measures were introduced and are now being eased again. We consider the challenges for employers and examine a recent employment tribunal decision on an employee’s refusal to go to work for fear of catching Covid-19.
Challenges for employers
Business continuity arising from Omicron related staff shortages
An estimated 4.3m people in private households across the UK had Covid-19 in the seven days leading up to 6 January 2022.
Such high case numbers have caused testing shortages and considerable staff shortages across all business sectors. Staff shortages are likely to continue for some time, with ministers recently asked by Boris Johnson to prepare contingency plans for public sector workforce absences of up to 25%. Staff shortages are likely to be equally problematic for the private sector.