Advice on shielding and work

I’m in the shielded group. Do I have to go back to work if my employer asks?

If you’re in the ‘extremely clinically vulnerable’ group, also known as the shielded group, the public health advice currently remains that you should stay at home and avoid face-to-face contact.

Employers are allowed to furlough people for any reason arising from the coronavirus pandemic, including protecting employees’ health.

If you’re unable to work from home, ideally, your employer will furlough you for as long as public health advice deems it necessary. If not, you may have rights under the Equality Act 2010. This would help protect you from discrimination.

It is important to talk through any concerns with your employer as soon as possible so that you can reach a solution that works for both of you. If you are a member of a trade union they will be able to help you to raise this with your employer.

If you’re in the shielded group and have been denied furlough, you can find further help and advice at:

Look out for our next column when we focus on returning to work if you are pregnant

The information contained in these articles does not constitute advice. For the most up-to-date information, please visit


They are a very friendly and helpful team in Totnes, I got results the next day on something I have been trying to sort out for half a year.

Sarah – December 2023

Our awards and achievements

Queens Award for Voluntary Service

Support Us

Support South Hams Citizens Advice with Give as You Live

Skip to content