Coronavirus – Employment rights briefing 

26 March, 2020


A summary of the latest government guidance for employers and employees.

Sick pay  



  • Furlough is granted to employers when there is no work for employees – usually it is unpaid.  
  • Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the government will pay up to 80% of a furloughed employee’s wages up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. 
  • This applies to employees whose places of work have closed due to coronavirus but have not been made redundant.  
  • If employees are sent home or work from home then they receive full pay unless agreed otherwise. 
  • Volunteers can also be furloughed. They cannot do any work for their organisation, although they can do work for another organisation.  


  • Households where at least one parent or carer is a critical worker or where a child are considered vulnerable can send children to school during the outbreak.  
  • If you’re not a critical worker and you don’t have anyone to look after your children then you may have to ask your employer if you can work from home.  
  • If this isn’t possible, then you may need to consider emergency dependent leave, unpaid leave or annual leave – these options could impact pay and holiday entitlement. 
  • Home educating will not give you any special dispensation regarding employment rights.  
  • Children entitled to free school meals should continue to recieve them via arrangements with their school.    

Redundancy and lay-offs 

Home working 

  • Employees working from home should be assisted in conducting a health and safety and display screen equipment (DSE) assessment.  


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