Greater Manchester businesses urged to support self-isolating workers

Date published: 22 March 2021

Employers across Greater Manchester are being encouraged to support their employees in getting a test and self-isolating when needed to stop the spread of coronavirus. 

As national lockdown restrictions are eased over the coming weeks, business leaders and key GM organisations have joined forces to highlight the financial, practical and emotional support available to minimise workers’ worries around any difficulties of self-isolating.

Self-isolation is when you do not leave your home because you have or might have coronavirus, after you have tested positive, developed symptoms or recently been close to someone who is infected. You should self-isolate immediately and for 10 full days, or longer if you still have symptoms after this point. This is important to helping stop the virus spreading to other people

The GC Business Growth Hub is encouraging GM businesses to #DoYourBit and support workers who need to self-isolate. This message is being backed by Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership (GM LEP), and the Greater Manchester Good Employment Charter.

Regular surveys undertaken throughout Greater Manchester during the pandemic have revealed that: 

  • Around 1 in 3 residents have needed to self-isolate   
  • More than 1 in 5 of these have not managed to do so fully

Further insight has found that some people: 

  • Are not self-isolating due to fear of loss of earnings and losing their job
  • Are not getting tested because of worries over potential financial and employment consequences of a positive result
  • Are lacking awareness that they might be eligible for self-isolation support payments

Business owners are being asked to help allay these concerns and fears by supporting their employees to get tested and to self-isolate if they need to.

They are also encouraged to participate in the #DoYourBit campaign to help clearly communicate the importance of getting tested and self-isolating when required. This campaign provides information on support available for people’s mental wellbeing, access to food and essential goods, caring for others, day-to-day responsibilities and other key issues which have been identified as preventing people from being able to self-isolate immediately and for the full amount of time.   

Janine Smith, Director, GC Business Growth Hub said: “Employees, business owners and the self-employed have the full backing from local authorities, public bodies and the Government to get their workers tested, and to encourage and support self-isolation if and when it is required.  We want to reassure businesses that they are fully supported and actively encouraged to do the right thing when it comes to following the current guidelines.” 

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “We’re at a critical point on the roadmap out of national lockdown where we must continue to do everything in our power to keep infection rates down.

“As restrictions are eased and the vaccination programme continues, businesses have a huge role to play in ensuring that we don’t lose our focus in keeping the rates as low as possible.

“Whether you’re self-employed or have employees working across multiple sites in the region, please follow the guidance and ensure that you do the right thing when it comes to test, trace and self-isolation.” 

Lou Cordwell, Chair of the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership (GM LEP), said: “Business owners should know they have our full backing in encouraging their employees to take a test and self-isolate if necessary. Advice on test and trace and applying for financial support is readily available here in Greater Manchester.

“Businesses have already played an hugely important role in battling the pandemic and we want to help employers reassure their staff that they can follow the guidelines without worrying about loss of earnings or impact on their employment. While we look to the coming months with cautious optimism, the easing of restrictions can only continue if we all do the right thing.”

Guidance on how businesses can support their workforce, including mental health guidance and advice on eligibility and application for self-isolation grants can be found on its dedicated Covid-19 website here:

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