Guidance for Employers and Employees

Human Resource procedures and employment law are very specialist areas, as is managing your organisation through periods of change and uncertainty. To help our members we have referenced experts advisors and provided links to relevant information. Our aim is to give you access to quality and reliable information so that you can make informed decisions and take appropriate actions to guide your organisation and colleagues through this challenging time.    

 

The chartered Institute of Professional Development are the professional body for experts in people at work. For more than 100 years, we've been championing better work and working lives by setting professional standards for HR and people development, as well as driving positive change in the world of work.

The spread of COVID-19, is an exceptional circumstance with ongoing ramifications for organisations, individuals and society on every level. As the situation continues to develop and change, the CIPD will provide updated advice, resources and guidance to support employers and people professionals in their response. 

If you wish to take a look at the whole CIPD website relating to Covid-19 click here

If you are short of time or know what you are looking for then here are some direct links to content on the CIPD website:

  • Covid-19: Question and Answers - Employee policies and practice (including furloughing staff) click here
  • Covid-19: Getting the most from remote working - Top tips to help your team acheive effective home working click here
  • Covid-19: Preparing your staff for home working - Adapt our questionnaire to use to help prepare staff to work from home click here
  • Covid-19: Employer response guide - This guide will help you plan your organisation’s response to the global health emergency click here
  • Covid-19: Support Material - Emergency protocol/business continuity plan - Use this policy document to set out your organisation's emergency plans click here
  • Covid-19: Advice to UK employers - This regularly updated factsheet provides an overview of the current coronavirus situation click here

 

  • These guidelines are for employees relating to work and in what circumstances you can leave the home. It also includes information on subjects like furloughed workers, sick pay, claiming benefits. Click here
  • The Government have issued guidelines for employers relating to work and in what circumstances you can leave the home. It also includes information on furloughed workers, sick pay, claiming benefits. Click here
  • Here is a link to government guidelines about work and social distancing. Click here

 

SAPCA's latest update to ensure you are kept informed on these important topics.

Job Retention Scheme

The latest changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) are as follows.

  • 10 June 2020 will be the last day that employers can place employees on furlough.
  • from 1 July, “flexible furlough” is being introduced, meaning that employees will be able to work part-time and be furloughed part-time. Businesses will decide how that will work (in terms of the time split).
  • from 1 August, employers will have to pay an employee's national insurance contributions and pension contributions, and can no longer reclaim them through the CJRS.
  • from 1 September, the government will only reimburse 70% of salary (up to a maximum of £2,190). Employers are required to top-up to 80% (or more, depending on what the employer agreed with the employee).
  • from 1 October, the government will only reimburse 60% of salary (up to a maximum of £1,875), and employers will continue having to top up to 80% (or more).
  • the furlough scheme will close on 31 October 2020.

SSP for Test and Trace
Entitlement to statutory sick pay has been extended, under The Statutory Sick Pay (General) (Coronavirus Amendment) (No. 4) Regulations 2020, to people who have been told to isolate under the new “Test and Trace” system, which starts in England today. Other parts of Great Britain have similar, but not identical, Test and Trace systems.

Accordingly a person who has been notified that they have had contact with a person with coronavirus, and who is self-isolating for 14 days as a result, will be entitled to statutory sick pay.

Guidance on the Return to Work
As the government guidance is regularly updated, here’s a link to the latest version in relation to the office environment:

For copies of two posters that you might like to use to help provide reassurance for employees and visitors, please vist SAPCA's website.

HR Helpline for Members
Please visit the dedicated section of the Clover HR website “Advice for Employers on COVID-19”, as this is updated frequently with useful advice.

And remember that if you have a specific HR problem or concern, you can simply call Clover HR for up to 30 minutes of expert guidance, free of charge. Should you then need any further advice, Clover HR will advise how they can best offer you additional support.

To contact Clover HR, call one of these two numbers - the Birmingham office on 0121 516 0299, or Lynn Burman on 07701 055092 - and quote "SAPCA" to use the helpline.

Webinar “Post Covid-19 Return to Work”: 11.00 am, Wednesday 17 June

Companies returning to work from a closure due to coronavirus and those who have continued to work throughout the lockdown, should have an action plan in place to help protect the workforce from the virus and to cover what to do if someone at work shows symptoms. Having a plan will help employers and their management teams to remain compliant with legal obligations and help to take the necessary steps to prepare and to prevent an outbreak of coronavirus occurring.

This webinar will provide valuable guidance on the subject and will be presented by Lynn Burman, HR Business Partner at Clover HR. Please register in advance using the link below. You will then receive a confirmation email with information about joining the webinar.

https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_snh0OOUHT5OV4052f-_MmQ

Changes to the Job Retention Scheme

The new flexible furlough scheme starts on 1 July 2020. Employees will no longer need to avoid doing any work for their employer and they can work for part of the week and be furloughed for the rest of the week, in proportions decided between employee and employer. The minimum three-week period for furlough will be removed, although any claim through the CJRS portal mut be in respect of a minimum of one-week period.

From 1 August 2020, the level of grant will be reduced each month.  The timetable for changes to the scheme is set out below.

  • There are no changes to grant levels in June.
  • For June and July, the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 for the hours the employee is on furlough, as well as employer National Insurance Contributions (ER NICS) and pension contributions for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers will have to pay employees for the hours they work.
  • For August, the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 for the hours an employee is on furlough and employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions for the hours the employee is on furlough.
  • For September, the government will pay 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,187.50 for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions and top up employees’ wages to ensure they receive 80% of their wages up to a cap of £2,500, for time they are furloughed.
  • For October, the government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875 for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions and top up employees’ wages to ensure they receive 80% of their wages up to a cap of £2,500, for time they are furloughed.
  • Employers will continue to be able to choose to top up employee wages above the 80% total and £2,500 cap for the hours not worked at their own expense if they wish.

There is a full explanation on the Clover HR website, here

Travel Arrangements and Dealing with the Self-Isolating Requirements

A two-week quarantine period for anyone arriving in the UK was enforced from 8 June 2020. This includes people who travel broad on holiday or for other purposes. Upon their return to the UK people will be required to self-isolate for fourteen days. If you would like to know more about how will this affect employees and workplaces, follow this link:

https://www.cloverhr.co.uk/travel-arrangements-and-dealing-with-the-self-isolating-requirements/

Hewitsons’ Construction Seminar: 11.30 to 12.15, Tuesday 16 June

Following the very high demand for the webinar last week, the Construction Team at Hewitsons will be repeating this seminar tomorrow morning. The session will review the government’s latest guidelines on construction sites, provide an update on delay claims, and how major forms of contract may interpreted, and also discuss how they may be amended to take in the current position relating to COVID-19.

The webinar is aimed at all those operating in the construction sector and is free-of-charge to attend. To register for the seminar please send an email directly to events@hewitsons.com.

How we can stop the spread of coronavirus and keep our environment safe for everyone. Please visit their website for the article.

Changes to government guidance on physical activity and sport were announced on 29 May 2020 and came into effect on 1 June 2020 across England.

Since the announcement, national governing bodies (NGBs) have been working alongside the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) to interpret the new guidance for their individual sports and setting out sport-specific advice for individuals, clubs and local authorities.

For sport-specific covid-19 guidance for outdoor sports and physical activity, please visit their website.