As an Employer you are expected to take steps to ensure the health and safety of your PAs while they are working for you. There may be times where you require your PAs to care for you while you are unwell with an infectious disease (like Measles or the Flu) . Here are some suggestions for how you can manage this while still ensuring the health and safety of your employees:
•Maintain Good Hygiene Standards- One of the easiest and most reliable ways of controlling the risk of infection, encouraging EVERYONE to wash their hands before they handle food/eat and after using the bathroom or providing personal care. Using warm water, soap and disposable paper towels should help to minimise the risk of infection.
•Protective Clothing- You should provide items like disposable gloves or aprons, when necessary. Disposable ones are best as using the same items repeatedly and for multiple PAs increases the risk of infection and cross-contamination from one PA to another. If you have to use the same pieces of protective clothing then ensure they are washed AT LEAST between shifts to minimise risk.
•Manage the Risk of Exposure- Any spillage of bodily fluids (Vomit, blood, bodily waste) can potentially transmit infectious diseases. Clean any spills using detergent and a disinfectant while wearing protective clothing and use disposable paper towels or cloths to clean up blood and body fluid spills, and dispose of after use.
• Make Sure your PAs Know- If you are sick with an infectious disease then it is important to inform your PAs as soon as possible so they can take precautions. While a PA CANNOT REFUSE to come to work because you are sick, it is important to consider allowing them a period of Unpaid or Annual Leave IF:
-They are part of a high-risk category (Age, health problems and some medications can all weaken the immune system, leaving them vulnerable);
-They care for someone who is high-risk (such as a infant or elderly relative).
You ARE NOT obligated to give them this Period of Leave but we recommend you consider the situation and use your best judgement.
•Don’t be Afraid to Seek Help- As an Employer, you might feel as if you have to manage everything yourself when this isn’t true. If you have serious concerns about your health or that of your PAs then contact your local NHS as soon as possible. Explain your situation to them and follow any advice they give.