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Monkeypox in the workplace

There is growing concern of Monkey Pox as the number of cases grows to 800in the UK. Although it has been considered a very low threat to the wider public, vaccines are being rolled out for those in the higher risk category.

Although monkey pox is a low risk to the general population it’s better to prepare your business in case the situation changes quickly.

The main symptoms are:

  • Fever and chills

  • Rash / raised spots that blister over this usually appears 1-5 days after the first symptoms, often beginning on the face then spreading to other body parts.

  • Swollen lymph nodes

  • Exhaustion

  • Muscle pain / ache

What should I do if my employee gets monkeypox?

It is important to remember that failure to implement measures to prevent employees with monkeypox coming into the workplace could lead to employers being in breach of their obligations under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

The UK’s four public health agencies advise, those who have been in close contact with a confirmed case, to isolate for 21 days (unless previously vaccinated), which means not going out to work. Additionally, those whose contact is categorised as having had unprotected exposure to infectious materials, including droplet or airborne potential routes (e.g., being in a shared car / taxi, sitting next to a case on a plane or entering a room of a confirmed case and within 1 metre of the person without PPE) should not go to work for 21 days if their work involves contact with immunosuppressed people, pregnant women or children of school year 6 and under.

If employees are well enough and can work from home during their isolation (21 days), they can, on full pay.

Employees who have monkeypox should follow the sickness absence policy. The employee may be entitled to statutory sick pay or contractual sick pay depending on their contractual terms.

Those that have possible or confirmed monkeypox should self-isolate from other people until they have not had a high temperature for at least 72 hours. They have had no new lesions in the previous 48 hours, all their lesions have scabbed over, they have no lesions in their mouth, any lesions on their face, arms and hands have scabbed over and all the scabs have fallen off and a fresh layer of skin has formed underneath, then once contacting their medical team they may be able to come out of isolation.

Conducting a welfare meeting with the employee would be beneficial to understand how they are feeling and if they would need any support. When an employee Is well enough to resume working a return-to-work meeting should be held to confirm they are well enough to return.

Can you have a Monkey Pox Policy?

Yes, you can have a monkeypox policy, this will explain the employees and employers responsibilities should someone contract Monkey Pox.

📢 If you need any advice Monkey Pox policies or are concerned about what to do in this situation contact us for a free initial consultation call on: 01935 411191 or email: 📢


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