Coronavirus

Coronavirus (COVID-19) HR Support

The Coronavirus pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for SME businesses. We provide FREE advice & support to organisations and guide on the HR response to COVID-19.

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Government Schemes

On Friday 20th March the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak made the following statement announcing unprecedented support to businesses.

Job Retention Scheme

  • There is help for employees and businesses in the form of the "Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme"
  • This means that HMRC will pay 80% of wages up to £2,500 per month. As the employer you will get a grant and this scheme will be up and running by the end of March.
  • There is an option for employers to top up the difference if they want to.
  • The scheme will last for 3 months [from 1st March 2020] but may be extended if necessary.

Q+A on Job Retention Scheme:

Q. Can I roll over holidays for my employees?

A. Holiday can be carried over for up to 2 years ensuring employees do not miss out on holiday entitlement and enabling companies to respond quickly when things get back to normal. 

Q. Is it possible to rotate employees on Furlough e.g. 3 weeks on 3 weeks off? 

A. Yes - we received clarification from the government over weekend of 4th April saying this was OK.   

Q. How do we communicate the change, and can we impose the change?   

A. We have model letters we can share – normally any change to an employment contract would need to be discussed and agreed with employees however these circumstances are exceptional. In our letter we include right of appeal against the decision. 

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) rules have changed due to COVID-19.  

SSP will be refunded to SME businesses for the first 2 weeks. Employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note. If evidence is required by an employer, those with symptoms of coronavirus can get an isolation note from NHS 111 online, and those who live with someone that has symptoms can get a note from the NHS website; the government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism for employers as soon as possible; You are eligible for the scheme if your business is UK based, small or medium-sized and employs fewer than 250 employees as of 28 February 2020.

Short-Time Working and Lay-Offs

lay-off is where employees are not provided with work by their employer and the situation is expected to be temporary. Short-time working occurs when employees are laid off for a number of contractual days each week, or for a number of hours during a working day.

Redundancy

The Job Retention Scheme will reduce the number of companies making redundancies. However, many firms are facing reduced demand once the crisis is over and will be have to reduce headcount. Managing staff redundancies is a sensitive complex process. Click this link which provides a guide to the process. 

We can help you to; design a process that's fair and selects people for redundancy & models cost impact; run the consultation meetings; run the outcome of consultation meetings; and handle any appeals. 

Working from Home  

Employees are being encouraged to work from home but there are issues relating to lone working and feelings of isolation. Our partners at Engagement Multiplier have a free survey tool for employers, enabling you to take the pulse of those working from home. Click this link to get started:  https://signup.engagementmulti... 

Getting people back to work.

Once the crisis is over, employers will need to re-engage with employees; those that have been furloughed or worked from home maybe a bit rusty and out of the work habit.   

Contact us

Please contact us if you have any questions about people management & development and see how we can help you.

“We needed to the assess the capability of the management team prior to investing. Human Capital Department designed a three step process "Human Capital Due Diligence" which mitigates the risk to our investors.”

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