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I’ve been shielding. Is there any advice about returning to work? 

3 min read
I’ve been shielding. Is there any advice about returning to work? 

The current advice for those on the shielding list is to follow the general guidance for your local protection level, this includes returning to the workplace if you’re unable to work from home. The exception to this is those working in a level 4 area, where people on the shielding list are advised not to return to the workplace. Current government advice can be found here.

When you do return to work it’s likely that you’ll experience a whole range of emotions, so you may need some extra strategies to help you manage. This guide, prepared by our colleagues in NHS Lothian, goes through some of the common responses to going back to work and offers some strategies to help you cope: Managing your return to work: A guide for staff who have been shielding.

Also be aware that your employer has a statutory duty to protect your health and safety. This includes assessing the risk of being infected with COVID-19 in the workplace. In some workplaces it will be very difficult, or impossible, to maintain physical distancing. The Scottish Government is therefore updating its returning to work guidance for workers and employers.

You’ll also find a workplace risk assessment tool here to help you assess your individual risk from COVID-19. It can be used as a starting point for you and your employer to discuss your return to the workplace, and it will highlight steps you can both take to keep you safe. Please note that it’s not designed to replace any assessment you might have had from a clinician or an occupational health specialist.

If the risks to you and the kind of job you do mean that it’s hard for you to return to work, some employers may be able to offer you leave. It’s up to you and your employer to decide what’s best if you’re not able to return to your workplace. If you feel you can’t return to work safely, you can discuss your fitness for work with your GP or specialist care provider.

You’ll find more information here to help you to make an informed decision and to help you access support services if required.

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