Although there are some gaps in the guidance, the general view is that your employer should listen to any concerns you may have and should take steps to protect everyone.
Your employer must undertake a risk assessment to determine whether, by coming into work, you are at risk of catching the virus. Employers have a duty to comply with their health and safety obligations (such as providing you with face masks, gloves, and hand sanitiser) and will need to follow recent government guidelines to ensure that social distancing is observed so as to minimise the risk of you contracting the coronavirus.
Under your existing employment rights, if you are an employee, you are already entitled to remain away from the workplace (e.g. stay at home) if – in your reasonable opinion – the prevailing circumstances represent a real risk of serious and imminent danger which you could not be expected to avert. In these circumstances you are protected from being unfairly dismissed (but only if you’re an employee). However, this protection does not extend to you if you are a ‘worker’ rather than an employee.
This risk is not restricted to you, as an individual employee and your colleagues, but extends to others – for instance, your family or members of the public. Recent regulations such as the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 back this up.
The risks are compounded if you believe that you might be a “spreader”, where you display some mild symptoms, or where your employer has not provided sufficient PPE or otherwise complied with its health and safety duties so as to minimise the risk of contracting Coronavirus (such as face masks, gloves, hand sanitiser).
So, provided you can overcome the issue of employment status, the protection is there.
The government has also recently updated its Guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and has said that organisations can furlough staff for a number of reasons including where they are shielding in line with Public Health guidance "or need to stay at home with someone who is shielding if they are unable to work from home and would otherwise have to be made redundant.”