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Making redundancies during Covid-19

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The further extension of the job retention scheme could open up employers to legal action if they make people redundant while it is still running.
There are obviously some situations such as closure where redundancies may be necessary, however, you would need to be able to evidence that you have considered furlough as an alternative and why this wasnt a viable solution.
If however you do need to make redundancies, make sure you follow a full process, this can be done whilst employees are furloughed.

Covid-19 Update

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The Goverments new track and trace system starts today. For employees who have been notified by the NHS that they have been in contact with someone who has COVID19 and they are required to self isolate for 14 days, they are entitled to statutory sick pay (SSP) from day1 subject to eligibility. Call us now 01422 822842.

Codid-19 Update

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Can employers enforce their staff to take annual leave during a period of Furlough?
Answer. Yes. However employers must give twice as much notice as the period of leave to be taken. For example one weeks holiday to be taken requires two weeks notice. Employers must pay holiday pay at 100 per cent wages/salary. Employers, call the experts now on 01422 822842 for further information.

Covid-19 Update for employers

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Are you an employer starting to think about bringing your employees back into work? Apply these 3 steps.

1. Is it essential?
2. Is it safe?
3. Is it mutually agreed.

People are naturally going to be apprehensive about their return to work, so clear and sound direction and reassurance from business owners and Managers is fundamental. Risk assess, issue guidance, talk to your employees, offer PPE where necessary, apply the 2M rules, carry out one to ones with your staff. For subscribed health and safety clients, talk to your Consultant, let the experts guide you, here to help. For unsubscribed clients, and if you need H&S support, talk to Johanna 01422 822842. professional support just when you need it!👍🙌

Covid-19 Update

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Employers, if your current regime is working, stick with it. Continue to minimise any risk. If it’s not working and you want employees to return to work, ensure you risk assess, and your working environment is safe, with all precautions and maintaining the 2 M apart rule. If you cannot meet this then generally it is not safe to have your staff in work. Please contact your Elcons health and safety advisors for further guidance. If you meet any resistance from your employees regarding returning to work please phone our specialist team for advice. 01422 822842.

Can you reclaim SSP on more than one occasion due to Coronavirus? (For employers with under 250 employees)

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The current guidance states that an employer can only reclaim upto 14 days SSP for each employee even if they are off more than once with symptoms/other within the household with coronavirus symptoms.  However, the provision that SSP is not paid for the first three qualifying days does not apply in relation to an employee where an employee’s period of incapacity for work is related to coronavirus and the first day of incapacity for work in that period arose on or after 13th March 2020.  Therefore both periods of absence would be liable to SSP from day 1.

Permanent Homeworking? Consultation for change

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As many of the world’s workplaces were pushed to make a move to homeworking, many organisations are now enjoying the benefits of reduced overheads and advanced technologies.  For some, this has resulted in a desire to make the temporary homeworking arrangements permanent.  What are you required to do in order to make this change permanent?  Even if mobility clauses exist, you will have a duty to consult with staff regarding the proposed permanent change.  In addition, unless, employees agree to the change, notice will need to be given.  Although during furlough a risk assessment of the home environments suitability for homeworking is not necessary, this is a consideration should the arrangement become permanent.

If you are considering this change, please speak to your advisor for specific advice in relation to the process of consultation.

Parental Bereavement Leave now in effect

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Parental Bereavement Leave Regulations 2020 came into force on 6 April 2020, meaning bereaved parents are now entitled to one or two weeks’ leave (and in some cases pay) following the loss of a child under the age of 18, or a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy.   This new right, known as “Jack’s Law ”, in memory of Jack Herd whose mother Lucy campaigned on the issue, applies to deaths or stillbirths occurring on or after 6 April 2020. Employees are eligible from the first day of their employment.  Eligibility for Parental Bereavement Pay will depend upon length of service and gross average weekly earnings.

To make specific enquiries, please contact your Advisor.

Health & Safety at Work during the Coronavirus situation

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Where work cannot be done at home and employees are needed in the workplace, please ensure you consider their safety whilst remaining in the workplace:-
  1. Maintain a distance of at least 2 metres between individuals
  2. Remind employees to wash their hands regularly and thoroughly
  3. Provide washing facilities and hand sanitiser
  4. Ensure the premises is regularly cleaned
  5. Make sure they know what to do if they have any symptoms!

Return to work after the Coronavirus lock down
When furlough ends and businesses get back to ‘normal’, what should you be considering?  Obviously there will be guidance at this stage but consider:-
  1. Check that all employees details havent changed
  2. Continue hygiene control
  3. Look at continuing with as much distancing as possible
  4. Consider different working patterns/practices to keep your employees safe (take advice if wanting to make any changes to their Terms & Conditions)
  5. You could consider staff bringing their own food/drink and utensils and taking them home with them

Is there a specific amount of time that employees have to work inbetween furlough periods?

No!  They need to be furloughed for at least 3 weeks to be able to use the Job Retention Scheme, however, if they then return to work and later are furloughed again, the only time constraint is that each furlough period needs to be at least 3 weeks.

What records should an employer keep regarding furloughing it’s employers?

An employer must keep a written record of all communications with the employee regarding the furlough arrangement, including all copies of the furlough agreement, for five years