What Can You Do If Staff Won’t Come Back To Work?

What Can You Do If Staff Won’t Come Back To Work?

If employees refuse to return to work, what are your rights?

In “normal” times, an employee can of course be disciplined , or dismissed if they do not turn up for work as they are in breach of their contract of employment.


Section 44 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 protects workers who leave work, or refuse to return, when they have a reasonable belief there’s a ‘serious or imminent danger’ to their safety. So, does a risk or perceived risk of Covid-19 infection fall inside this rule?


Staff who don’t work, don’t have to be paid. However, staff can be worried about their safety for a variety of reasons If you do discipline or dismiss someone who feels they are in danger you could risk an employment tribunal claim.


It’s a tricky situation and we would recommend not taking any action before seeking professional advice.


The Graham Agency, keeping you informed.