Wales will issue fines for workers refusing to work from their homes without good reasons.

From Monday, employees will be handed a £60 fixed penalty notice and companies will face a £1,000 fine for each time the rule is broken, rising to a potential £10,000. 

It will be an offense to ‘failing work at home’ under the new restrictions to health protection.

Wales will issue fines to workers who refuse to work from home without a good reason, First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced

Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford announced that workers will be fined if they refuse to work at home for any reason.

Up to now, the Welsh government advised that workers should work at home. However, new rules will force everyone away from the office unless absolutely necessary.

Because of Omicron variant cases that were steadily increasing, the draconian regulations had to be enforced.

However, some are concerned that employees may be unable to work due to the possibility of a criminal background. 

GMB says it fears that vulnerable workers and the poor will be affected by new regulations. Employers can blame their staff to avoid being punished. 

This is not the first controversy the Labour Government has been involved in with coronavirus legislation. The Labour government was previously criticised for banning the sale of non-essential items. 

Clwyd West Tory MP David Jones stated that the lack of clarity regarding this situation is extremely troubling. It is important to clarify what it means by “reasonably practical”.

“If there isn’t clarity, workers might be discouraged from ever working for fear of a penalty and a criminal history. 

Empty chairs and empty tables line the streets of Cardiff yesterday amid growing Omicron cases

Today, in Cardiff’s growing Omicron population, there were empty chairs and empty table on the streets.

These volunteers provide valuable services and may worry that the authorities will not consider them “working”.

“If additional comprehensive guidance does not get issued immediately, it is likely that chaos will ensue, something which must be avoided at all cost.”

Meanwhile TUC General Secretary Shavanah Taj expressed ‘shock and concern’ and said she hopes the measures are repealed.

She explained that workers were not responsible for where they work but the employer.

“This is an alarming precedent, that somehow the responsibility is shared, at worst, it is foolish.” 

Workers could find themselves in violation of the law if they go to work for mental health reasons or distractions from home.

The First Minister stated that the regulations governing coronavirus will be changed to reduce contact between people. Employers are required to allow employees to work at home, if this is possible. Employees must also do this where practical.

“This is especially important in high cases rates, as people in the work place can drive transmission.

Drakeford placed other restrictions on the grounds of infection, ordering that indoor and outdoor sporting events must be kept behind closed doors starting December 26. 

A £3million Spectator Sports Fund will be available to support clubs and sporting venues affected by the new measures to protect public health.

As part of the ‘two phase plan,’ the First Minister had previously indicated that there would be both advice and regulations for Christmas.

Nightclubs will be closed from December 27 under the new rules, although the Welsh Government has announced a £60million fund to support any businesses affected by the restrictions.

Two-metre social separation will become mandatory for offices starting on the same day. Businesses will also be required to install one-way systems, physical barriers, and other measures in order to protect their customers and employees. 

The Welsh Government encourages people to take five steps until December 27: get vaccinated, have a positive lateral flow test before they go shopping or meet people and to keep their meetings in areas that are well ventilated -preferably outside; spread out socializing to allow for test days between and adhere to social distancing such as covering up and washing your hands.

The government is also encouraging people to cut down on contact in the days ahead, particularly if they have Christmas plans that include visiting older people or those who are more vulnerable.

Drakeford suggested that restricting households allowed to attend Christmas parties remained an option, but he also hinted at further restrictions on hospitality venues after the holiday season, like the rule of six.