Many thanks to fellow member EmployAssist for sharing some important advice and information for all business owners and employers in these difficult times.
Please contact them directly iif you have any questions or requirement their help.
COVID-19 sickness absences
If you have employees who cannot work due to having coronavirus or needing to self-isolate because of it, then they will be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay from day 1 of their absence. Employees can self-certify in the usual way for the first 7 days. Absences going over 7 days will need an ‘isolation fit note’. This can be done without needing to see a G.P. via the NHS website or app.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Set up by the Government, the scheme enables employers to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salaries for those that would otherwise have been laid off (HMRC will reimburse 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 per month). The scheme applies to employees who were employed as of 28 February 2020 and are on PAYE, and who may not be able to work if a business is closed or workload may be reduce due to the impact of COVID-19.
‘Furlough’ is a temporary period of leave for employees, who retain their usual terms & conditions of employment and continuity of service through this period. Its very important that staff do not work for the company during this period as this could invalidate any claim under the scheme and lead to more severe penalties if found to be fraudulent! The furlough period must last for at least 3 weeks.
Next steps for employers:
Ensure you are very clear on the rules and requirements of furloughing and the Job Retention Scheme, seek further advice where needed.
- Identify staff your business may need to furlough and hold a discussion with them to get their consent to be furloughed.
- You must confirm in writing the details of the individual’s furloughed leave.
- Keep in regular contact with all your staff, whether they are working remotely, using annual leave or on furlough leave.
- Keep fully informed with the latest Government updates on COVID-19 and business support.
- Seek professional HR advice if you are unsure or need help managing any of the above processes.
The team at EmployAssist HR can support local employers with detailed advice on managing staff and HR processes through the challenging COVID-19 epidemic. We can provide furlough letters, manager guidance and professional HR advice:
T: 0333 400 7920
See our latest blogs on COVID-19 for local employers here.