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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 64645
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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My employer is not enabling us to practice social distancing

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My employer is not enabling us to practice social distancing within our workplace which is a laboratory.
JA: Have you discussed this with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: Manager advised we would be fired if we complained.
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: I am employed full time and no I don’t belong to a union.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No nothing else. oh other than the staff meeting was in a small room with 20 other people.

Hello, I’m Ben, a UK lawyer and will be dealing with your case today. I may also need to ask some questions to determine the legal position.

Customer: replied 5 days ago.

What are you wanting to do in the circumstances? and how long have you worked there for?

Customer: replied 5 days ago.
Worked there for almost five years.
I need to know how we can make our employer take the correct steps to keep us safe.

Thank you. I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Can I just check if it is actually possible to iplement social distancing in your workplace without it affecting the work you do to an unreasonable degree?

Customer: replied 5 days ago.
It really would only be possible in the lab if there were half the staff in attendance.
I am not really sure if the work is essential as we test textiles for the fashion industry.

Ok so there is some uncertainty over the rues, which is understandable, but the following is taken direct from the Government document about this:


Employers who have people in their offices or onsite should ensure that employees

are able to follow Public Health England guidelines including, where possible,

maintaining a two metre distance from others, and washing their hands with soap

and water often, for at least 20 seconds (or using hand sanitiser gel if soap and

water is not available).


Any business can remain open as long as they are not on the list of businesses which must close. If they are open they should seriously consider allowing people to work from home if possible. If they cannot do so, then the guidelines on social distancing and hand washing should be followed, with the phrase ‘where possible’ being key – i.e. not mandatory.


If you feel unsafe at work then you cannot be forced to attend and can consider whether to self-isolate, although you will only get sick pay in that case.


Does this answer your query?

Customer: replied 5 days ago.
Yes it does answer it however I am still extremely concerned.
Thanks for your response.

All the best

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