The Welsh Government has introduced new rules in Wales that people can be fined for not working from home when they are able to.
Workers in Wales have been advised to work from home where possible for months with the First Minister encouraging employers to allow them to do that.
However, from December 20 this has now been made part of the regulations.
This means that a person could be fined £60 if they go to work when they could work from home. Employers could be fined up to £10,000 if they repeatedly fail to allow people to work from home.
A Welsh Government spokesman said: “Additional measures have been introduced to limit the spread of the virus and protect public health.
“Further to our long-standing advice for people to work from home wherever possible, from Monday this will now be a legal requirement to work from home unless there is a reasonable excuse not to. We expect employers to take all reasonable steps to facilitate home working and provide employees with the support they need.”
The regulations include a requirement for businesses to take all reasonable measures, including allowing or requiring people to work from home, to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus. According tot he Welsh Government the enforcement approach can include premises improvement and closure notices. A person who fails to comply a notice could receive a fixed penalty notice of £1,000 for the first notice, rising to up to £10,000.
In relation to the requirement for individual employees to work from home, if enforcement is needed the standard fixed penalty notice applies (a fine of £60, reduced to £30 if paid in 14 days).
What if I work in England but live in Wales?
According to the Welsh Government, if you live in Wales but work in England you can still receive a fine.
A Welsh Government spokesman told Business Live: “For all those who live in Wales, Welsh law applies and this provision must be complied with regardless of whether they work in England.
“However, there is an exception to the rule if it not reasonably practicable to work from home, and if an employer in England has good reason for requiring people to be present in the workplace this is likely to apply.”
The Welsh Government have, at time of writing, announced two other policies to try and tackle the omicron wave that is already starting – especially in South Wales. They have announced that nightclubs will close after Christmas and that all sport must now be played behind closed doors.