Please see below, consolidated information from Chamber Member Debbie Glinnan of Parallell HR.
A Very useful guide, that tells you about the help available and what to do. Feel free to call Debbie and her team if you need help.
A summary of the Government’s Job Retention Scheme
The Government’s Job Retention Scheme has been a welcome lifeline. Under this scheme you can get 80% of your employee’s salary up to £2,500 per month. The key points are:
- employees must be designated as “furloughed”
- unless you are shutting whole parts of the company, you should be able to justify to those affected why they have been chosen
- furloughed employees must not do any work for the company
- they must give their written consent to be furloughed
- they continue to be entitled to their benefits during this period (including accruing holiday)
- the scheme only applies to people who were on your payroll on 28 February 2020
To apply, visit the HMRC website. The portal is not now expected to be open until the end of April 2020. Therefore, you need to consider how to deal with your April payroll. There is a significant chance you will not have received funds from the Job Retention Scheme in time.
If someone refuses to be “furloughed”, please say that you will reconsider and contact me before acting further.
Please note, if you reduce a person’s hours/pay, but they do not stop work, you will also need their written consent, but will not be entitled to help with their salary.
While furloughed, employees can do training as long as that training does not provide a service or generate income for the business. Until 1 June 2020, St John’s Ambulance are offering free e-learning online refresher modules that first-aiders may be interested in.
If you need any support with furloughing staff, please do not hesitate to contact me.
If you decide that you have no option but to make redundancies, you will still need to follow a fair process, no matter what the circumstances. This will involve:
- defining the job role(s) at risk of redundancy
- placing all those that do the same or similar job in a “redundancy pool”
- scoring them against criteria – whoever scores lowest will be deemed “at risk of redundancy”
- holding formal consultation meetings
- confirming each stage of the process to them in writing
If you need support with the HR side of this process, please do not hesitate to contact me.
For funded support for your employees, such as help with their CV, please click here
Statutory Sick Pay
A reminder of the changes to SSP rules:
- for those with coronavirus symptoms or self-isolating, SSP (or company pay if higher) to be paid from day one
- employers with under 250 staff as at 28 February 2020 can reclaim two weeks SSP back from the Government (backdated to 13 March 2020)
- SSP will increase to £95.85 per week from 6 April 2020.
- fit notes are not required for the first seven days – they can then be downloaded from https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note/
Keeping in touch
We all face a disjointed time when key parts of our teams are either furloughed or working away from each other. It will be well worth the effort to keep in touch with people regularly. Ideally a personal call or video chat, but even a message to ask how they are doing will show you care.
Some ideas to help you with this include:
- set a time each day or week to simply chat over a coffee and talk about what’s happening in your lives
- having lunch over video chat with people as if you were on a normal lunch break
- team activities such as starting a book club, sharing thoughts about an article or attending a webinar
- respect colleagues’ working hours – don’t expect them to answer your emails or calls at all times, just because they can
- encourage colleagues to end their day virtually and log off as they would leave the office
Other important reminders
The early May Bank Holiday will change from Monday 4 May 2020 to Friday 8 May 2020 to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day.
With effect from 5 April 2020, payments will increase to £151.20 per week for Statutory Maternity, Paternity, Adoption, Shared Parental Leave Pay.
Statutory Sick Pay increases to £95.85 per week from 6 April 2020.
Please also continue to check the websites below to see what support is available to you and your business.