Monkeypox FAQ for employers

The information on this page was last updated on Monday 27th June 2022.

Monkeypox is a rare infectious disease that is predominantly in African countries. However, there has been an outbreak in the UK with numbers of diagnosed cases rising daily. If you have an employee diagnosed with Monkeypox then we hope that the information, advice and guidance below will help you navigate the situation in your business. UKHSA (UK Health Security Agency) have a twice-weekly schedule for reporting monkeypox cases since 20th June 2022 to closely monitor the outbreak

General Advice

What are the symptoms of Monkeypox?

According to the NHS website, the symptoms include a high temperature, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen glands, shivering and exhaustion which is then followed by a rash appearing.

What should I do if an employee has any Monkeypox symptoms?

If you suspect Monkeypox then you could advise your employee to go to the GP for advice, particularly if they have a rash.

It’s also advisable that the employee works from home, or where that’s not possible, is off sick. Note that if you insist that your employee stays away from the workplace when they can’t work from home then should pay full pay as that would be deemed medical suspension. Please contact your local HR Dept for advice on a specific case.

What do I do if an employee won’t come to work because they are worried about Monkeypox?

If you have an employee who is particularly worried to the point that they are refusing to attend work then our advice would be to have a deeper discussion to understand their concerns. Then contact your local HR Dept for advice on how to handle that situation,.

If an employee is off sick with Monkeypox symptoms, can we reclaim SSP (Statutory Sick Pay) in the same way as COVID sick pay?

No, there is no option to reclaim SSP so the costs of this must be met by the employer.

Do employees need to self-isolate if they have Monkeypox?

Yes they do. The guidance can be found here.

We advise that you contact your local HR Dept office for advice on how to manage someone who needs to self-isolate and can’t come to work.

Does an employee have to work if they are self-isolating?

It depends. If they are feeling well and able to work from home, then they should work. If they are refusing to work despite feeling well and have the ability to work from home, then that might be deemed unauthorised absence. If they are unwell, then you should treat it as any normal sickness absence and pay according to your absence policy. If you don’t have an absence policy or would like any advice around this, then please contact your local HR Dept office.

Do you run a business and have a HR question about Monkeypox?

The HR Dept provide outsourced HR support to employers. If you are an employee we would suggest that you contact Acas.

Looking for expert HR support?

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