Govt's Living with Covid Strategy lacks necessary detail on employer liabilities - CBI

From 1st April 2022, the government is removing the current guidance on voluntary COVID-status certification in domestic settings and will no longer recommend that certain venues use the NHS COVID Pass. Health and safety requirements that compel employers to explicitly consider COVID-19 in their risk assessments will also be removed.

These are among the changes announced this week by the government as part of its ‘living with COVID strategy', which will also see the removal of free universal symptomatic and asymptomatic testing for the general public in England.

Commenting on the announcements, CBI chief policy director, Matthew Fell, said that at this point, businesses are looking for the certainty they need to invest and grow but may not be getting it with the government’s new plans.

“Living confidently with the virus means prioritising infrastructure over interventions, as the CBI has set out previously. The UK has developed a world-leading vaccine and anti-viral programme, and firms will welcome the government’s continued emphasis on these key pillars,” he commented. “While free testing cannot continue forever, there is a balance to be struck between confidence building and cost-cutting. Mass lateral flow testing has kept our economy open and firms continue to believe the economic benefits far outweigh the costs.

“The government now needs to add further guidance on issues like sick pay and employer liability to avoid the risk of a legal vacuum. Many firms will continue to be cautious and use extra measures to protect their staff and customers, as they have from the outset.”

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