RICF - Changes to Government Guidance on Self-Isolation

Our ref: HSR/1/3
Head Office Circular: NP/458/21
16th December 2021
To: The Secretary

Dear Colleague,


Further to Head Office Circular NP/440/21, dated 8th November 2021, your National Executive Committee (NEC) met today, 16th December 2021 to discuss further correspondence received from the Rail Industry Coronavirus Forum (RICF).

The report adopted by the NEC is as follows:

We note the further correspondence from the RICF on sick pay and MFA in relation to Covid-19 for the directly employed.

We instruct the General Secretary to circulate the advice and place any further updates before the NEC.

Relevant members, branches and regional councils to be advised.

The advice in question is as follows:

I refer to our discussion on the last RICF call on 1st December 2021 concerning the Omicron variant and your request for further clarification over the payment of sick pay and the application of MFA in light of the latest Government guidance.

In line with the latest Government guidance an employee who is fully vaccinated who has had contact with someone with Covid-19 should take daily rapid flow tests every day for 7 days. If the employee tests positive or develops symptoms, the employee must then self-isolate and take a PCR test. If the result of the PCR test is positive, then the 10-day self-isolation period includes the day the employee’s symptoms started or the date of a positive PCR test whichever is earlier.

I can confirm that if an employee advises they need to self-isolate in line with the latest Government guidance, then the payment of Company Sick Pay (CSP) will be based on the specific personal circumstances of the individual case and will not be unreasonably withheld.

I can also confirm that if an employee develops Covid-19 symptoms, regardless of vaccine status, they must self-isolate and take a PCR test until the result is known in line with current Government guidance. In the event, that the employee tests positive then Company Sick Pay would be payable.

In respect of the above Covid-19 related absences, any reference to MFA would be solely for the management of that absence and the wellbeing of the employee allowing any important health and related attendance conversations to take place. As such these absences should be excluded from being recorded within any MFA monitoring process.

Please bring the contents of this circular to the attention of relevant members.

Yours sincerely

Michael Lynch
General Secretary