EMPLOYMENT ROUND UP (PLUS POSSESSION CLAIMS!)
At the 11th hour – the moratorium covering possession proceedings has been extended until 20th September 2020. Watch this space for further news.
Following Public Health England’s updated guidance the minimum self-isolation period for COVID-19 for individuals suffering with a suspected or confirmed case of coronavirus is now ten days. Individuals sharing a household with someone with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 must isolate for a minimum 14 day period.
Similarly on 5 August 2020, Statutory Sick Pay (General) (Coronavirus Amendment) (No.5) Regulations 2020 also came into force on 5 August 2020. These provide that a person isolating as an individual or as part of a household in accordance with the updated guidance will be deemed incapable of work for statutory sick pay purposes. Staff should self-certify for their first seven days of absence and thereafter obtain a self-isolation note from the NHS website or app.
Employment – Redundancy
Whilst the Job Retention Scheme has saved many jobs, sadly some employers are having to restructure their business to survive the economic crisis.
To protect employees from unscrupulous employers, new legislation was passed on 30 July 2020 confirming that furloughed workers are entitled to statutory notice pay and guaranteed statutory redundancy pay calculated at their pre-furlough salary rate.
For those individuals who are sadly facing redundancy, employers are likely to offer the option of a Settlement Agreement. These are often offered by employers instead of going through a fair redundancy process. An employee may agree to sign a Settlement Agreement and waive their right to bring an employment claim knowing that the compensation being offered (known as a Termination Payment) is more than they are likely to receive from a statutory redundancy payment and contractual rights.
Home Working Health & Safety
Many employers may now be shifting their attention to consider the health and safety implications for those employees who are returning to the workplace but please remain mindful of the health & safety of employees who continue to work from home. For the majority of the workforce who will work at home on a laptop or computer the risk of issues is likely to be lower, but for those employees who carry out different roles or are considered to be vulnerable, a risk assessment is strongly recommended.
Employees should be encouraged to continue to take holidays given the benefits of maintaining good mental health and well-being and the importance of taking rest but as a result of the pandemic, a temporary new law was introduced regarding carry out over unused holiday. The temporary law allows employees and workers to carry over up to 4 weeks’ paid holiday into their next 2 holiday leave years.
Communication between employers and employees to maintain working relationships is the key – employers should ensure staff are aware of what holiday (if any) can be carried out and where agreements are already in place – let employees know whether these still stand or have they been relaxed/varied.
If you need any advice on employment (or possession proceedings) please do not hesitate to contact Lorraine Walker or Manjit Kaur-Heer in the litigation and dispute resolution team at Willsons Solicitors on 02476 387821.
You can also contact us by clicking here.