Dear [insert the name of your employer]
I have read the Government guidelines on social distancing and believe that I fall within the group of people who have a much higher risk of having a severe illness should I contract the virus for the following reasons.
My union, Voice has advised I write to inform you of the details.
I have an underlying health condition of [specify condition] or [I am pregnant]. I take [specify medication] for my condition. As a result of my condition and/or treatment I am at a greater risk of developing a severe illness should I contract Coronavirus (Covid-19).
Many of the children we are currently looking after in [school/nursery] have parents who are key workers who are therefore more likely to have been in contact with people who have contracted coronavirus. In light of this heightened risk and the Government’s guidance I believe it would be safer for me to work from home and would be grateful if you would confirm that I can work at home on full pay for the duration of this emergency.
The government website strongly advises those with the following conditions who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures.
This group includes those who are:
- aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)
- under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (ie anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds):
- chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
- chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
- chronic kidney disease
- chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
- chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), a learning disability or cerebral palsy
- problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed
- a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
- being seriously overweight (a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above)
- those who are pregnant
Additionally, Teachers and Support Staff in maintained schools are covered by the terms of the Burgundy Book and Green Book, which state:
Teachers (from the ‘Burgundy Book’)
10.1 When the approved medical practitioner attests that there is evidence to show a reasonable probability that an absence was due to an infectious or contagious illness contracted directly in the course of the teacher’s employment full pay shall be allowed for such period of absence as may be authorised by the approved medical practitioner as being due to the illness, and such absence shall not be reckoned against the teacher’s entitlement to sick leave under paragraph 2 above, though such absences are reckonable for entitlement to Statutory Sick Pay.
10.3 A teacher residing in a house in which some other person is suffering from an infectious disease shall at once notify the employer and the teacher shall, if required, take such precautions as may be prescribed, provided that if in the opinion of the approved medical practitioner it is considered inadvisable, notwithstanding such precautions, for such teacher to attend duty, full pay shall be allowed during any enforced absence from duty, such pay being sick pay for the purpose of paragraphs 3 to 7.5 above. This provision will also apply where, in the opinion of an approved medical practitioner, it is inadvisable for a teacher to attend duty for precautionary reasons due to infectious disease in the workplace. The period of the absence under this paragraph shall not be reckoned against the. teacher’s entitlement to sick leave under paragraph 2 above, though such absences are reckonable for entitlements to Statutory Sick Pay.
Support Staff (from the ‘Green Book’)
10.9 An employee who is prevented from attending work because of contact with infectious disease shall be entitled to receive normal pay. The period of absence on this account shall not be reckoned against the employee’s entitlements under this scheme.