If your employee poses any health risk to other people, they should not attend work until they are well.
All you need to know in 30 seconds
Employees are responsible for managing their own health and deciding whether they are fit enough to be at work or not. However, there are times as a manager when you may need to reinforce to staff whether someone can be at work in line with infection prevention, so that this does not pose any risk to patients, colleagues or the public. The most common illness managers typically have to deal with is diarrhoea and vomiting which in a hospital environment can spread very rapidly if the necessary time frames are not followed.
As a manager, when an employee is off work you should always ask what the nature of the absence is. This allows you to provide support and also to take any steps necessary to ensure prevention or to contain the spread of infection. Where employees have been off with an infectious illness you should encourage them to always contact you before returning to work - especially if the illness was caused by any of the following:
- diarrhoea/vomiting (should be 48 hours symptom-free before returning)
- infectious rashes (Chicken pox / Scabies)
- undiagnosed persistent coughs with / without a temperature (Tuberculosis)
Should a member of staff call in sick with any of the above, you can refer to the NHSGGC’s Standard Operating Procedure for healthcare workers with symptoms of infection and seek further advice from OH if you are unsure what to do. Ultimately if the employee poses any health risk to other people, they should not attend work until they are well.
Make sure you consult the Board’s policy on hand hygiene and make sure your employees are aware of this and practice the guidelines - this reduces the risk of spreading infections.
Where an employee has been prevented from attending work due to infection control/ prevention (when the employee has been 48 hours symptom free) this should be recorded under Infection Control on SSTS. During the period the employee was unwell with active symptoms this should be recorded as sick leave.