Should a policy triggering disciplinary action after a certain amount of absence be suspended for employees with coronavirus symptoms?

Given the nature of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, it may be sensible for employers to reconsider their disciplinary policy in relation to sickness absence where employees are sick with symptoms suggesting a risk of coronavirus. If employees are concerned about disciplinary action, they may attend work when unwell.

To avoid an increased risk of coronavirus infections within the workforce, employers may wish to advise employees that absence due to coronavirus symptoms or self-isolation will not be taken into account when determining whether or not to take disciplinary action. They should make clear that this is a temporary measure and update employees when they revert to the normal policy.