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 or when they should be self-isolating.

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.