All employers have a duty to protect their employee’s health and safety.  If you or one of your dependents fall into a vulnerable category such as an auto-immune illness or asthma or you are pregnant, you should speak to your employer and explain your circumstances.  In these circumstances if your employer forces you to continue going into work you may be able to argue that your employer is in breach of contract by failing to protect your health and safety or that there has been a breach of mutual trust and confidence. If your illness means that you’re a disabled person your employer would be required to consider this and make ‘reasonable adjustments’ under the Equality Act 2010, which may mean that although your workplace is open you should be allowed to work from home.  There are limited circumstances where you can refuse to go to work if you think that you will be in danger if you continue to work.   It is important to take legal advice in these circumstances.  You can call our helpline for advice.

If your work means that you are more likely to come into contact with people who are confirmed or who are suspected of Coronavirus and your employer fails to adequately provide Personal Protective Equipment you may be able to argue that by continuing to come into work you are in imminent danger of catching the virus yourself and you could refuse to go into work but you would not be entitled to pay.  In these circumstances it is likely that you would be protected from being dismissed but we would recommend that you take legal advice and or speak to your union if you are a member.