Workers Breaching Government Rules
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In theory, it is possible for an employer to take disciplinary action against an employee for breaching the Government’s COVID-19 rules and restrictions outside of the workplace. As a general rule, the actions of an employee outside of the workplace can be considered misconduct if there is a genuine connection to the employment relationship.
By way of examples, disciplinary action could be taken against an employee for flouting COVID-19 restrictions outside of work in the following scenarios:
● The employee is coming into the workplace after breaching the rules, potentially putting the health and safety of other staff at risk.
● The employee cannot work/come into the workplace (if this is necessary to carry out their work duties) because they breached the rules, causing disruption to your business.
● The employee has posted comments and/or photos online showing that they breached the rules, and these posts can be linked to their employment, causing damage to your business’s reputation.