Coronavirus – Employment rights briefing
26 March, 2020
A summary of the latest government guidance for employers and employees.
- It’s good practice to provide full pay to self-isolators, but not a legal requirement.
- Employees self-isolating are entitled to £94.25 per week Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for up to 28 weeks.
- Employees can get an isolation note from NHS 111 online as evidence.
- Self-employed workers can claim a government grant worth up to 80% of your trading profits for three months.
- If you are self-employed or earn less than £118 per week then you may be able to claim Universal Credit or contributory employment and support allowance (ESA).
- 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
- Redundancies are handled as they would under normal circumstances. These should include:
- Employees can appeal any decision and written records of all steps should be maintained.
- Employees working from home should be assisted in conducting a health and safety and display screen equipment (DSE) assessment.