Returning to the workplace after shielding

As COVID restrictions are lifted across the UK, some people who have been shielding might begin to return to the workplace. Find out how the guidance is changing and where to go for more information.

Working in hospitality

All four nations of the UK have announced that they will gradually lift COVID-19 restrictions over the coming months. They have also updated their guidance for clinically extremely vulnerable people. If you are clinically extremely vulnerable, you should receive a new letter telling you about changes to the guidance. The updated guidance, and the date from which it applies, is different in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Throughout the UK, you should continue to work from home if you can even when the restrictions are eased.

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable, you can’t work from home and your workplace is open, all four nations advise that you can return to work as long as your employer has taken reasonable measures to make your workplace COVID-safe. This applies from:

  • 1 April in England
  • 12 April in Northern Ireland
  • 26 April in Scotland (although this date may change)
  • 1 April in Wales.

After this, in England, you will no longer be able to claim statutory sick pay or employment and support allowance because you are shielding (although you might be able to for other reasons). You might still be eligible for the furlough scheme or the self-employment income support scheme (SEISS), which have both been extended until September. Financial support can be complicated and may be difference in different nations. 

If you need to return to work and you are concerned about the safety of your workplace, speak to your employer to find out what precautions they are taking to reduce your risk. You could talk to a member of your HR department or union representative, if you have one.

You can also get advice from:

If you need support to work safely at home or in the workplace, you might be able to get help from:

If you think your employer is treating you unfairly because of your lymphoma diagnosis, the Equality Advisory and Support Service (England, Scotland and Wales) and the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland (Northern Ireland) offer free advice.

If you’d like to talk about any concerns about returning to work, or anything else related to lymphoma, contact our Helpline Services on freephone 0808 808 5555, or via the Live Chat on our website, from 10am to 3pm, Monday to Friday. You can also email


Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay                                                                                                                       24 March 2021