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The government has classified various groups as clinically vulnerable or extremely clinical vulnerable.
It is reasonable for a doctor to request adjustments to their working environment or practices to maintain their safety or the safety of close family members in their household.
This will entail a risk assessment by your employer to establish what adjustments may be needed to keep you safe, including working from home if necessary and practicable.
It should also encompass any risks to people in your household who are deemed “extremely clinically vulnerable”. Reasonable adjustments in such circumstances could, for instance, include provision of alternative accommodation by your employer.
Where an individual doctor has received a formal written clinical evaluation which places them either in the clinically vulnerable or clinically extremely vulnerable category, a local risk assessment should not be used by managers to try to contradict this.
You do have the right to contest a risk assessment, but we would not advise that you do this alone. The best course of action is to contact HCSA to seek professional advice and support, via Advice@hcsa.com or by ringing 01256 770 999.
The government maintains a list (external link) of those who should follow additional work from home advice, including those with cancers, severe respiratory conditions and immunodeficiencies.
You also fall into this category if you have received written notification of this from a GP or clinician, even if your condition is not on the list.
New official guidance for those deemed “extremely clinically vulnerable” was released on 5th November to coincide with the second wave.
It states: “You are strongly advised to work from home. If you cannot work from home, you should not attend work.”
If you fall within this category you should inform your employer so that they can consider what duties you can complete from home, or what duties can be temporarily allocated to you for home working purposes.
If it is not possible for you to work from home, then you would qualify for Covid-19 special leave.
However, if you have any concerns about the way your employer is handling your situation then you should contact HCSA for individual support and advice via Advice@hcsa.com or by ringing 01256 770 999.
© Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association 2019
HCSA - the Hospital Doctors' Union is a professional association and trade union affiliated to the Trades Union Congress.