The HR team at TC are readily available and are set up and working remotely to support you with any HR challenges you are facing during this difficult period.
We are already receiving calls from clients saying they need to start redundancy consultations with their employees. There are other options for you to consider to get through this period of uncertainty – here are a few suggestions:
• Temporary reduction in salaries – can only be implemented with an employee’s consent;
• Asking staff to take paid holiday;
• Offering periods of unpaid leave – can only be implemented with an employee’s consent;
• Offering working at home wherever possible – although it is recognised this will not suit every position or business;
• Lay off and short time working – this is rare as not many employers have this in their contracts. Pay is maximum of 5 days statutory pay (£29 per day) in a 3 month period. On days not being paid employees can claim Jobseekers allowance. If an employee has been laid off for four consecutive weeks, or for six weeks in a total of 13 weeks, the employee can give the employer written notice that he or she intends to claim a redundancy payment. This can currently only be implemented if there is an explicit clause in the employment contract although this may be something that is updated as part of a new statutory scheme.
• Redundancy as a last resort – compulsory, voluntary and those with under 2 years’ service.
If you have a member of staff who has the recognised symptoms of Coronavirus, they and the rest of their household should self-isolate for 14 days. During this period, their absence should be treated as sickness and paid as per your sickness absence policy.
The government have advised that SSP will be payable from day one of sickness (rather than the usual day 4) and a fit note is also not required at this stage. Work is in place to eventually be able to get a fit note digitally through 111 although this is not yet in place.
They have also confirmed they will allow small and medium size businesses (less than 250 employees) to reclaim SSP for employees with COVID-19 for up to 2 weeks per eligible employee. Further guidance on how to reclaim this will be published in the coming weeks / months.
Our team are able to guide you through the best option for your business so give us a call on 0330 088 7111 to talk this through. Alternatively, you can contact Wendy McGarvey who is on hand to answer your questions.