Update On The Impact Of Coronavirus On Employment

Posted By: on 2nd November 2020 | Category: Employment Law Solicitors

CORONAVIRUS JOB RETENTION SCHEME

This was supposed to end on 31 October and be replaced by the Job Support Scheme, due to come into effect on 1 November. However, following the announcement of lockdown 2.0 the Government has decided to extend the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme [CJRS] until 1 December.

Under the extended scheme employees will receive 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500. The cost for employers of retaining workers has therefore been reduced compared to the former scheme, which ended on 31 October. This means the extended furlough scheme is more generous for employers than it was in October.

Businesses will continue to have the option and flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work on a part time basis or furlough them full-time. The only costs [other than administrative and practical ones for the employer] will be National Insurance and employer pension contributions.

Eligible employees must be on an employer’s PAYE payroll by 23:59 30th October 2020. This means a Real Time Information (RTI) submission notifying payment for that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before 30th October 2020.

The details are yet to be published in full but, no doubt continued updates will be provided by the Government.

SELF-ISOLATION

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self Isolation) (England) Regulations 2020.

It is an offence if an employer knowingly permits a worker to attend any place other than where the individual is self-isolating.

So, the employer cannot ask them to visit a client, the office, etc. However, they can work from home.

The employee must tell the employer and if not, then the employee is guilty of a separate offence.

Therefore, it is aimed at the employer taking steps to prevent an employee attending work and also dissuades the employee from attending the workplace.

HEALTH AND SAFETY DETRIMENTS

Employees have had and do have protection as set out in s44 and/or s100 Employment Rights Act 1996 against detriment or dismissal in the event that the employer acted as such or dismissed the employee in circumstances of danger which the employee reasonably believed to be serious and imminent and he or she left or leaves the workplace and/or refuses or refused to return to work.

This is of particular relevance in the current pandemic where employees may be placed in difficult situations and/or where an employer, possibly unaware of the risks, asks or expects the employee to undertake certain tasks, work in a particular place or location, or do something which the employee believes places him or her in serious and imminent danger.

There will probably be more updates on the impact of the pandemic over the coming weeks and months but, meanwhile should you wish to understand how it may affect or has affected you, or your business, please contact our Nigel Targett, partner who deals with employment law issues.

For employment law advice contact Nigel Targett, Solicitor and Partner at Coole Bevis LLP on 01273 722532 or by email at nigel.targett@coolebevisllp.com.

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