It is important for employers to know the procedures for when employees return to work following a COVID-19 self-isolation period. As per the Ministry of Health guidance, individuals must self-isolate when they:
- Have COVID-19
- Have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19 or who is likely to have COVID-19 (as per Public Health)
- Were out of the country
When employees are self-isolating, this period begins on whichever is the earlier date between the following:
- When symptoms started
- The day they were tested
It is important for employers to maintain consistent communication with employees who are self-isolating.
Workers are able to return to the workplace if:
- They have completed their self-isolation period
- They have no fever
- Their symptoms over at least 24 hours are improving
It is important to note that it is not required for workers to receive a negative COVID-19 test to return to work after completing their full self-isolation period.
When employees do return to the workplace after isolation, employers should ensure that the transition back is considerate of the safety policies and protocols in place. Employers are to make sure that employees are trained on the organization’s COVID-19 protocols and that they are aware of their safety responsibilities in the workplace.
Employers should ensure that supports are in place to assist employees returning to work, this can include frequent check ins and applicable mental health resources.