What are the rules about working from home?
You must work from home if you can.
However, people who are not able to work from home, but are able to work safely in their workplaces, can do so, provided their workplace remains open.
Our guidance to employers is that employees should not be required or placed under pressure to return to a workplace setting if there is not a clearly demonstrated business need for them to do so. Employers who are considering requiring their staff to return to workplace settings should first assess whether alternative arrangements could meet the majority of the employer’s needs. This should be discussed with staff or representatives of staff.
My work cannot be done from home – can I still go to work?
Yes. Occupations like construction and manufacturing can continue, subject to compliance with other rules such as employers ensuring that all reasonable measures are taken to mitigate the spread of coronavirus. Many public services also rely on face-to-face provision, and these can continue where necessary.
My work cannot be done from home but I have concerns about my health and safety at work, what should I do?
If you have concerns that your health and safety is being compromised at work, you should discuss this with your employer in the first instance. If you are unable to find a resolution, you should contact your trade union or seek advice from Acas.
If you were previously shielding or are worried about being a higher risk of more serious symptoms, you can complete the COVID-19 workforce risk assessment. You should discuss the results with your employer who may take appropriate action. You should also speak to your trade union representative if you are a member of a union.
Can I carry out building, repair or maintenance work in someone’s home?
Work carried out in people’s homes, for example by tradespeople, can continue as long as it is managed in a safe way and both the worker and household members are well and have no symptoms of coronavirus. Physical distancing will need to be observed whenever you can. However, we recommend that people consider whether the work can be safely deferred until after alert level 4 restrictions are lifted.
Like other businesses, people working in someone else’s home must take all reasonable measures to ensure they mitigate the risk of coronavirus spreading when working in other people’s households. Please see the guidance on reasonable measures and on working in other people’s homes for more information.
It is also recommended that no work should be carried out in any household where someone is isolating, unless it is to repair a fault which poses a direct risk to people’s safety – for example, emergency plumbing, or carry out an adaptation to allow that household to remain in their property. If attendance is unavoidable (because of an urgent or emergency situation), additional precautions should be taken to keep workers and householders completely separate from each other. In these cases, Public Health Wales can provide advice to tradespeople and households. But no work should be carried out by a tradesperson who has coronavirus symptoms, however mild.
I have already started building, repair or maintenance work in someone’s home, can I complete that work?
Work underway can continue as long as it is managed in a safe way and both the worker and household members are well and have no symptoms of coronavirus. Social distancing will need to be observed at all times. However, we recommend that people consider whether the work can be safely deferred.
Can I deliver housing-related support in emergency accommodation, supported accommodation or in someone’s home?
Homelessness, housing and support services can be delivered face-to-face but support providers should ensure that all reasonable measures are taken to mitigate the risk of coronavirus spreading. Service providers should also consider whether the support can be delivered by telephone or video calls.
Can I do voluntary work?
Yes, although you must do so from home if reasonably practicable. If you are looking for more local volunteering opportunities you can contact your local County Voluntary Council (CVC).
You can also go out to provide care or help to a vulnerable person, including emergency help. This includes getting food and medicines for them. But it is important you do not put yourself or the person you are caring for at risk.
Does my business have to close under the new restrictions?
We have published a full list of businesses that are required to close temporarily in alert level 4.
We recognise the enormous efforts businesses have made to become safe places. This closure requirement is not a reflection on those efforts and many business environments make a low or moderate contribution only to the risk of transmitting the virus. But at alert level 4, minimising any contribution to the spread of the virus is important, which is why certain businesses are required to close.
I run a business that is required to close in alert level 4. Is there any support available?
The Welsh Government has made £340m available through the Economic Resilience Fund to support businesses affected by the new changes to the regulations.
This support is split into two funds: a £160m Restrictions Business Fund and a £180m Economic Resilience Fund grant scheme for hospitality and tourism.
An extra £110m has been added to the Restrictions Business Fund to support those businesses which are affected by the alert level restrictions.
The Restrictions Business Fund will enable eligible businesses in the hospitality, tourism and leisure sectors, which pay non-domestic rates (NDR), to access grants of up to £5,000.
Businesses not on the NDR system, will be able to continue to apply to local authorities for the Lockdown Discretionary Grant of up to £2,000.
In addition, hospitality, tourism and leisure businesses will be able to access a sector-specific Economic Resilience Fund grant scheme.
Small and medium sized businesses meeting the criteria could receive up to £100k. Depending on circumstances, larger Welsh-based businesses may receive up to a maximum of £150k.
More information about the funding and how it can be accessed is available on the Business Wales website.
Please see our pages on financial support for businesses for more information.
I work in a business that will be forced to close down/impacted by these regulations. Is financial support being made available to support my job?
Yes, eligible businesses impacted by COVID-19 should have access to the support available from the UK Government through the existing Job Retention Scheme (on GOV.UK) which will continue until the end of March 2021.
Is there any support available for people experiencing a reduction in income, for example, those on zero hour contracts?
There are a range of financial support options available if you are getting less work or no work because of COVID-19. You may be able to access support through the Discretionary Assistance Fund and apply for Universal Credit.
What support is available for self-employed people and freelancers?
Self-employed people may be eligible to claim financial support through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (on GOV.UK).
Freelancers working in cultural and creative sectors are able to apply for the Cultural Recovery Fund.
The Welsh Government is also making available £25m for local authorities to provide a discretionary grant for businesses that are closed or materially impacted.
Coronavirus support for businesses can also be found on the Business Wales website.
My employer has had Welsh Government funding but is now making redundancies, what should I do?
Any employer in receipt of Welsh Government funding will need to continue to meet the conditions that are attached to that funding. The conditions attached to funding will vary and do not necessarily prevent an employer from making redundancies. If you are at risk of redundancy you should speak to your trade union, or seek further advice from Acas on your rights during redundancy.
I live in England but work in Wales, can I still travel?
Anyone who is in Wales, whether resident or travelling here, is bound by these rules. However, travelling to a workplace in Wales is a reasonable excuse to leave home. Similarly, people living in Wales can travel to England for work purposes where this is necessary and they cannot work from home.
This is subject to any rules that may apply in England. Please see the UK Government’s guidance on restrictions in England for further information.
Can businesses operate a delivery service, even if they are required to close?
Yes. Businesses can provide an online or telephone delivery service, even if they are required to close.
Can businesses operate click and collect services, even if they are required to close?
Unlike in earlier lockdowns, at alert level 4 all shops and other types of businesses required to close can offer “click and collect” or similar services. To reduce the number of journeys people make, all goods and services should be ordered in advance online, by telephone or mail order.
All reasonable measures must be put in place to ensure a 2 metre distance is maintained between people on the premises, as well as people waiting to enter the premises. Please see the guidance on reasonable measures for more information.