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  3. Coronavirus Infection FAQ

Coronavirus Infection FAQ

Here you’ll find answers to some of the common questions asked about the coronavirus infection.

Visit the Coronavirus – Information for Staff and COVID-19 (Coronavirus) articles for more information on this subject.

Symptoms, Sickness & Isolation

What do I do if I have symptoms of Coronavirus?

Do not attend work. Contact your manager who will advise you to self-isolate for 10 calendar days from the first day your symptoms presented. You will be recorded as sick for those 10 days and should arrange to be tested in this time. Contact your manager to arrange a test.

What do I do when I have been off for 10 days on self-isolation - I work in a critical service?

If you work in a critical service and have come to the end of your self-isolation period, whether it is 10 or 14 days(this changes to 10 days wef. Monday 14 December 2020), and you are fit and well and have been told that you are required to work as part of an essential service, we would ask that you contact your immediate line manager and make arrangements to return to work.

You should login to myself and return yourself back to work on the system to avoid issues with your pay.

What do I do when I have been off for 10 days on self-isolation - I don't work in a critical service?

I don’t work in a critical service – If you have come to the end of your self- isolation period, whether it is 10 or 14 days(this changes to 10 days wef. Monday 14 December 2020), and you are fit and well and have been told that you are not required in work as part of an essential service, we would ask that you stay at home and contact your immediate line manager and inform them that you are out of self-isolation.
You should work from home if you are able to. If not you will be placed on special leave and available for work, if you are required to work critical services.
You should login to myself and return yourself back to work on the system to avoid issues with your pay.

What if I continue to have symptoms after the 10 days of self-isolation?

If any ill person in the household has not had any signs of improvement and have not already sought medical advice or been tested, they should contact NHS 111 online. If your home has no internet access, you should call NHS 111.
The cough may persist for several weeks in some people, despite the coronavirus infection having cleared. A persistent cough alone does not mean someone must continue to self-isolate for more than 10 days.

If someone I live with has symptoms but I don't, what should I do?

Do not attend work. Contact your manager who will advise you to self-isolate at home for 14 days(this changes to 10 days wef. Monday 14 December 2020) from the day the person in your household started to have symptoms. If you develop symptoms within those 14 days(this changes to 10 days wef. Monday 14 December 2020), you will need to stay at home for 10 days from the day your symptoms begin. You should do this even if it takes you over your 14 day isolation period(this changes to 10 days wef. Monday 14 December 2020).

I have a member of staff who has advised they have or someone they live with has symptoms that could suggest they are infected with coronavirus. What should I advise?

If an employee contacts you to inform you that they have symptoms which could suggest they are infected with the coronavirus or live within a household where symptoms are present, they should remain at home for a period of 10 days (for self-isolation) or 14 days (for household isolation – this changes to 10 days wef. Monday 14 December 2020).

This absence should be recorded on iTrent. This should now be completed by the manager in line with normal absence procedures. Log into myTeam and record the absence as follows:

– 10 day self-isolation – record as sickness absence with reason Coronavirus (suspected or confirmed) and including the expected end date as 10 calendar days after the absence began.

– 14 day household isolation – record as Other absence – Self Isolation (Household) and including the expected end date as 14 calendar days after the absence began..

For further guidance on how to do this, please click here. Please note this absence will not count towards absence triggers.

I have / a member of staff has been absent due to self-isolating and this has been recorded as sickness absence. Do I / they need to submit a fit note?

No, you / they should not contact a GP for a fit note.

I’m a Home Support Worker and provide care to a service user who is experiencing symptoms of coronavirus. What action should I take?

You will not need to self-isolate as you are using PPE. You will find further guidance on COVID-19 Safe PPE here.

Further information on when you are required to self-isolate is available within the articles What does self-isolation mean?

I have a member of staff who is already absent due to sickness not related to coronavirus and they have submitted a 4 week fit note in relation to this. The staff member has now advised they are also self-isolating for 10 or 14 days(this changes to 10 days wef. Monday 14 December 2020), does this need reported?

If the fit note already submitted covers the period of self-isolation, there is no need to report this.

What happens if someone presents with symptoms at work?

They should be sent home immediately and asked to self-isolate for 10 days. In this time they should arrange to be tested.

Any guidance for isolating at home?

Staying at home will help control the spread of the virus to friends and others. It is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or may already be infected. Staying at home will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community. Further information is available at https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-covid-19-stay-at-home-advice.

Home working

Any tips for working from home?

Information, tips and guidance can be found here on myNL.

Leave

I have booked leave / want to book leave for a holiday abroad, do i need to isolate on return?

If you are returning from an exempt country as advised by the Scottish Government, you will no longer require to self-isolate on return (see https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-public-health-checks-at-borders/pages/exemptions/ for an up to date list of exempt countries).

If you can evidence that you booked your holiday abroad prior to 7th August 2020 and still wish to travel as planned, you should discuss with your manager, if the additional 14 days isolation(this changes to 10 days wef. Monday 14 December 2020) following your return can be accommodated, if required.

If you wish to book a holiday abroad from 7th August 2020, you will need to check with your manager prior to booking, that if required, you can take additional annual leave or unpaid leave if you need to self-isolate for 14 days on return from your holiday abroad.

Further information is available in Annual Leave and Public Holiday Arrangements.

If I travel abroad to an exempt country and the exemption no longer applies by the time I'm due to travel home, what will I do?

You will be required to self-isolate for 14 days(this changes to 10 days wef. Monday 14 December 2020) on return from your holiday abroad. Irrespective of when you booked the holiday, you will be required to take additional annual leave or unpaid leave to accommodate the quarantine period..

Further information is available in Annual Leave and Public Holiday Arrangements.

Where can I find information on countries abroad that you are exempt from having to self-isolate on return home from?

The list of overseas destinations where the self-isolation requirements for those arriving in Scotland have been lifted are noted in the following link  https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-public-health-checks-at-borders/pages/exemptions/ .

Further information is available in Annual Leave and Public Holiday Arrangements.

I'm returning from maternity leave but my work location is closed, what will happen?

Please contact your Manager for further guidance.

I have annual leave that has already been agreed and it falls during my period of 10 or 14 day self-isolation(this changes to 10 days wef. Monday 14 December 2020). Can I cancel it?

You will be able to cancel your agreed annual leave if it falls during your period of 10 or 14 day self-isolation(this changes to 10 days wef. Monday 14 December 2020).

Re-booking this leave will be in line with normal annual leave guidelines and may not be automatically approved during the Coronavirus outbreak.

I have annual leave that has already been agreed and it falls during my period of self-isolation. Can I still take it?

Agreed annual leave that falls during a period of self-isolation will be honoured where the service is able to do so.

I have annual leave that has already been agreed, can my manager/service cancel it?

Where annual leave has already been agreed and you as an employee are required in the workplace (due to essential service delivery) then annual can be cancelled by the service with the correct notice which is double the timescale that the AL is booked for.

As there may have been some restrictions in taking annual leave during the Coronavirus outbreak, will the normal deadline for it to be used by, i.e. 31st January 2021, be extended?

Yes, due to the extenuating circumstances, the leave year 2020 will be extended to the 31st March 2021.

Payment of wages & financial support

If I work as a Supply Teacher, and need to take time off to self-isolate or to look after a dependant who is to self-isolate, will I be paid during this period?

If you are short term supply, employed for no more than 2 days at a time, you would be stood down if not required or if you are not able to attend. In this instance, you would not be paid. However, If a supply teacher has been on a supply list during the 2019/20 school year and has been engaged for the period 1st January 2020 to 31st March 2020, the mechanism for determining the compensatory payment for loss of expected earnings until the end of June will be calculated with reference to the average hours worked over the three month period.

For further inforamtion see JS-20-78 SNCT Supply Teachers Job Retention Scheme

If you generally work regular supply, beyond 2 days, you are categorised as long term supply and employed on a fixed term basis. In these cases, you would be paid as if at work.

All of the above forms part of the local agreement on “the engagement of temporary teachers”, derived from SNCT . Click the link below for further details.
http://www.snct.org.uk/wiki/index.php?title=Appendix_2.8A

If I am a casual worker and have a casual worker agreement, and need to take time off to self-isolate or look after a dependent who is to self-isolate, will I be paid?

Unfortunately not, unless your contract suggests a guaranteed number of hours per week, casual staff are as and when required and therefore will not receive pay if not at work. If you are willing to support other services, we may be able to employ you in other areas so please discuss this with your manager in the first instance.

Is there any information about financial support?

Information on financial support is available here.

Recruitment

Have recruitment interviews still to go ahead?

This will be determined by the service on a case by case basis.

Returning to the workplace

I have been asked for staff to return to the office. As a manager what steps do I need to carry out to bring staff back?

For staff to return to the office you have to submit an application to the council recovery group for approval.

Further information is available in Returning to the workplace (All services) and Returning to the workplace (Education & Families).

Staffing

Who are the key workers?

Information on categories of key workers is available here.

Safety & wellbeing

Where can I find risk assessments for my area of work?

Information on generic risk assessments can be found here.

How do I find out information about what wellbeing support is available to me?

Information on supports available is available here.

Test and Protect

Who can be tested for coronavirus?

Anyone above the age of 5 years old can now be tested if they are showing symptoms of coronavirus which are a high temperature, a new continuous cough or new loss of taste or smell. Testing is available for all employees and members of their household (over the age of 5) who are symptomatic.

Testing can only be done within the first 5 days of the symptoms showing.

Further information is available in the Test and Protect article on myNL.

How do I arrange to be tested for coronavirus?

You must notify your manager that you or a member of your household have symptoms of coronavirus and would like to be tested.

Testing can only be done within the first 5 days of the symptoms showing.

Further information is available in the Test and Protect article on myNL.

What do I tell my staff team when we are waiting for a test result for one of the team?

Only the staff member displaying symptoms requires to remain at home. You do not need to send anyone else home at this stage unless others are having symptoms.

Further information is available in the Test and Protect article on myNL.

An employee I work alongside has tested positive for coronavirus, what do I do?

You should continue to attend work as normal and you will not be required to self-isolate unless you have been contacted by NHS contact tracers or you develop symptoms of coronavirus.

Further information is available in the Test and Protect article on myNL.

Can I attend work whilst waiting on a test or the results of a test?

No, you must not attend work whilst you are waiting on a test or test results.

The test results will be either sent by text or email to you, and you must inform your manager of the results on receipt (usually within 48 hours of being tested)..

Further information is available in the Test and Protect article on myNL.

I'm a teacher and one of the school pupils I've had contact with has tested positive for coronavirus, should I self isolate?

Your Head Teacher will advise you if you are required to self Isolate for 14 days from the first day the pupil had symptoms, following discussion with your head of service and NHS Test & Protect.

I'm a supply teacher and have been advised by my head teacher to self isolate due to one of the school pupils I've had contact with testing positive for coronavirus. Will I still be paid during the self isolation period?

Yes you will continue to be paid during the self isolation period, which is 14 days from the first day the pupil had symptoms.

Working in a different Service

How can I volunteer to work in a critical service?

Information will be coming out shortly in this regard and we will update myNL in due course.

How do I get paid when volunteering in a different service?

Information on how you will get paid whilst volunteering is available here.

I'm volunteering in a different service, in a post that attracts allowances I don't normally get paid. How will these allowances be paid?

These allowances will be paid at the grade of the role you are undertaking.

For example, if your substantive grade is NLC7 and you’re undertaking a role graded NLC3 that attracts allowances. You will continue to receive your basic pay at your substantive grade (i.e. NLC7) but the allowances will be paid at the grade of the post that attracts them (i.e. NLC3).

Further information on how you will get paid whilst volunteering is available here

Updated on 11th December 2020

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