There are still significant differences in the coronavirus restrictions across the UK.

Businesses and individuals should interpret and apply the guidance as they see fit, ensuring that they comply with any relevant legal duties. It's the responsibility of employers and the self-employed to apply a risk-based approach and implement the precautions necessary to comply fully with public health advice.

Guidelines on going to work

Implications for practice

For businesses and private practitioners working in business premises

Across the four nations, the latest COVID-19 guidance provides scope for face to face work with clients in business premises (under various exemptions for services relating to mental health), providing they are COVID-secure and risk mitigation measures are rigorously employed.

For private practitioners working from home

If all or part of your home meets the criteria of a business address, then it is possible to work with clients in a private dwelling (home).

The criteria include:

  • all or part of your home is registered as a business address with Companies House
  • you are eligible for business rates for all or part of the property
  • you have public liability, employers (where relevant) and any other required business or professional insurance in place
  • your home address is registered with HMRC for self-assessment tax purposes

Any of these would demonstrate eligibility to practise at a home address, however it's vital that your premises are COVID-secure and that you've undertaken a risk assessment. 

We also recommend contacting your local authority, as they are playing a vital role in explaining rules to their communities and have responsibility for enforcing regulations applying to businesses.

For private practitioners working in a private place (home) with a client at high risk of harm to themselves or others

In England, there is an exception under the gatherings legislation for providing assistance to a vulnerable person, or to enable one or more persons in a gathering to avoid injury or illness or to escape a risk of harm. The meeting in person must be reasonably necessary to prevent a client from harming themselves or suffering physical or mental illness. This exemption applies even when a private home or dwelling is not registered as a business address. It's vital that you check with your insurers that your practice is covered and that your supervisor agrees with your decision.

A similar exemption also applies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

If you decide you have a legally and ethically justifiable reason for seeing a client face to face, make sure you adhere to our face to face guidance.