During a flu pandemic, if an employee has flu symptoms, or has been in contact with someone with flu, can he or she be instructed not to come to work?
During a flu pandemic, do employees have the right to be told if a colleague has flu or its symptoms?
Is there any duty on employers to close their workplace during a flu pandemic to prevent the spread of the virus?
If, in order to prevent the spread of pandemic flu, an employer instructs its employees not to come to work, does it have to pay the employees in full?
If, during a flu pandemic, an employee has flu symptoms, can the employer insist that he or she is tested for flu?
Can an employer insist on its employees having a flu vaccination?
Can front-line health or social care workers in the priority group for vaccination refuse to have the vaccine?
Should employees who are absent due to pandemic flu be required to get certification from their GP to confirm that they are ill?
What medical evidence can an employer insist on from employees who are absent due to swine flu when government advice is that people with swine flu symptoms should not attend their GP?
During a flu pandemic, can an employer insist that someone with flu symptoms comes to work?
If an employee has exhausted his or her entitlement to contractual sick pay, is the employee entitled to be paid if the absence is due to an instruction by the employer not to come to work to prevent the spread of pandemic flu?
During a flu pandemic, do employers have a duty to take special measures to protect those employees who are most at risk if they catch flu, such as pregnant employees or those with asthma?
Employees do not have the right to be advised if a colleague has flu or its symptoms. However, given the contagious nature of flu, it may be sensible for the employer to advise those who have worked in close proximity to the infected person so that measures can be taken to avoid further spread of the virus, eg homeworking. Additionally, such employees may have a reasonable expectation that they will be advised, given the potentially serious health risks involved. As such, a failure by an employer to advise them is arguably a breach of its duty to ensure the health and safety of its employees and a breach of the implied term of trust and confidence.
However, disclosing information about an employee's physical health involves the processing of sensitive personal data under the Data Protection Act 1998. Under the Act, personal data must be processed in accordance with eight data protection principles, which require fair and lawful processing. In addition, one of the conditions that apply to the processing of sensitive personal data must be satisfied. The most relevant conditions to this scenario are that the employee has explicitly consented to the disclosure, or the disclosure is necessary to enable the employer to meet legal obligations (eg relating to health and safety).
Should a policy triggering disciplinary action after a certain amount of absence be suspended in relation to employees with swine flu?
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