Covid-19 Information for Employees | Healthy Working Lives
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Information for Employees

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COVID-19/Coronavirus Symptoms

Symptoms of COVID-19/Coronavirus

Updated: 19/05/20

The original most common symptoms of COVID-19/Coronavirus were a high temperature and/or a new continuous cough. There are now other potential symptoms to look out for that include loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste (anosmia).

To help prevent the spread of the infection you should follow the guidance relating to social distancing and social isolating (see below). You should also cough or sneeze onto a tissue and dispose of the tissue straight away.

As the virus can survive on surfaces and is transferred by touching these, you should wash and rinse your hands thoroughly using antibacterial soap, if you aren’t able to wash your hands then you should be using a hand sanitiser.

More Information


Testing for Key Workers in Scotland

Updated: 27/04/20 
The UK government has established a new network of Covid testing facilities for key workers. This programme runs alongside the existing programme of testing in the NHS for clinical purposes and testing of key workers in health and social care.

Testing will allow symptomatic key workers and their household members who are self isolating  to know whether or not they have the virus. This will in turn keep essential services running.

Access to Covid testing in Scotland has been widened and will now be determined via a prioritisation matrix for key workers that includes a broader range of private sector workers and essential services.  Eligible employers can register and refer staff for appointments or eligible key workers will be able to book a test directly for themselves or members of their household. After details are processed through the online portal, individuals will receive a text or email the same day inviting them to either book an appointment, or offering a home self-testing kit.
Find more details here
Are you  classed as a Key Worker? Refer to the Key workers Matrix  


Social Distancing and Isolation

Social Distancing

Updated: 03/04/20

Social distancing is different from self isolation. Social distancing measures are steps you can take to put physical distance between people to help reduce the transmission and spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

You must:

  • Only go out for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home)
  • Out with home only take one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk or cycle alone or with members of your household, ideally restrict to 2 members
  • If you must go out stay 2 metres (6 feet) away from individuals out with your household
  • Do not meet others, even friends or family
  • Wash your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds with soap and water as soon as you get home and before touching anything else

If you must to go to your place of work as an essential worker, your employer must consider social distancing measures in the workplace setting.

Read the NHS Inform Guidance on Social Distancing.


Self Isolation

Updated: 03/04/20  

What it means in practice:

As soon as you have any of the symptoms linked to COVID-19 you must self-isolate at home for a period of 7 days; which starts from the day when you first became ill.

Where you live with others, the whole household must self-isolate for 14 days at home to guard against spreading the virus to others. This means stay at home and also practice social distancing from those who have symptoms within the household.

For those within the household that also get symptoms during the 14 days they then must isolate for 7 days even when it takes them beyond the initial 14 days.

More Information

Income – Loss of Earnings

Your employer can access the 80% wage support

Updated: 30/03/20

If your employer cannot afford to pay you, they can apply to receive 80% of your wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Your employer will have to supply information to HMRC about you and your wages and will have to designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers,’ and notify you of this change.

More Information

The money advice service can give further advice on managing your money right now.

If you want to know more about the financial support that is available to you or are worried about how you will pay your bills contact the Money Talk Team on 0800 085 7145


If you have any concerns about your home energy supply or the cost of energy during this time contact Home Energy Scotland on 0808 808 2282


The Citizens Advice Network in partnership with the Scottish Government have launched an advertising campaign to raise awareness of the additional financial support available to people during COVID-19.  For more information visit Citizens Advice Scotland


Home Working – How to Work from Home Safely

Take regular breaks from DSE work

Updated: 30/04/20

Incorrect use of DSE or poorly designed workstations or work environments can lead to problems in necks, shoulders, backs, arms, wrists and hands, as well as fatigue and eye strain. It could also lead to musculo-skeletal disorders (MSDs) such as carpal tunnel or tendonitis.

  • Establish a routine for working at home
  • Take regular short breaks from DSE work, especially while working on laptops
  • Organise or schedule breaks into your day
  • Stretch and change position
  • Look into the distance to change your focus from time to time and blink often

Read the short guidance from HSE about working with DSE equipment.


Travelling to and From Work

Travelling by Public Transport

Updated: 01/05/2020

If you are not a key worker you should not be travelling to work as we need lower numbers of people on our trains and buses to allow key workers to maintain social distancing.

If you are a key worker and using public transport, it can be a stressful time, but following the points below will help to protect you and others:

  • Please don’t travel if you feel unwell, you may risk spreading the virus to others.
  • Try to maintain social distancing by sitting in quieter parts of the train or bus and keeping apart from other travellers as much as possible at stations and bus stops.
  • Load up your travel card before travelling or use contactless card to pay for tickets
  • If you can, try to travel off peak or outside the busiest travel times.  Perhaps your employer can be more flexible with start and finish times at the moment?
  • The virus can survive on surfaces and is transferred by contact between these and your hands.  Be aware whenever you are touching handrails, poles, seats and stair banisters for example and wash your hands or use hand sanitiser before you travel and as soon as possible after using public transport. 
  • Avoid contacting your face when travelling.  If you bite your nails, are used to brushing your hair from your eyes or are adjusting any face covering, this could be something you need to really think about.
  • Don’t eat or drink while travelling.
  • Follow advice on coughing and sneezing into a tissue while travelling and please put the tissues in a bin to avoid risk to cleaning staff and other travellers.

The Scottish Government is recommending that you consider using face coverings in limited circumstances for example, travelling on public transport or entering a food shop where it is not always possible to maintain a 2 metre distance from one another.  Face coverings do not mean surgical or other medical grade mask, but a facial covering of the mouth and nose, made of cloth or other textiles, for example a scarf. Use of facial coverings is not being made mandatory and will not be enforced at this stage, but we would encourage you to do this.


More information on face coverings and how to clean them can be found here


Volunteering to support your community

The 'Scotland Cares' campaign has launched to encourage people to volunteer during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Updated: 06/04/20


While the most important ask for the public remains to stay at home and follow the essential public health guidance, people who are healthy and not at risk can volunteer to provide practical, emotional or medical help to those most in need.


If you are interested in volunteering to support your community there are 3 categories:

  • returning NHS workers will be directed to existing voluntary arrangements in NHS Scotland
  • people offering general support will be directed to a site co-ordinated by the Red Cross to join their community reserve volunteers
  • people looking for specific opportunities in their local area will be directed to Volunteer Scotland

More Information on Volunteering

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