Covid-19, HR and Health & Safety Advice

The World Health Organisation, (WHO) declared the Coronavirus (COVID-19) as a global pandemic, on 12th March 2020, due to the spread of the disease in multiple countries around the world at the same time.  Organisations are encouraged to have a management plan for dealing with the coronavirus to adhere to their statutory duty of care for health and safety of their employees and to ensure they can cope with potential business risks that may arise due to absences within the organisation but also within the supply chain.

Right to Work Checks and Recruitment | HR Solutions

Right to work checks and recruitment changes
June 2021 Update

Key recruitment changes are expected as of 4 June. Over the last year we have seen changes in how we recruit.  When the Brexit transition period and free movement of people ended on  31 December 2020, the UK introduced a new single points-based immigration system for both EU and non-EU nationals.

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COVID-19 HR Updates - HR Solutions

Is COVID-19 a serious and imminent danger for the purposes of the Employment Rights Act?  |  June 2021 Update

Coronavirus related employment claims can include breach of contract and discrimination in respect of Furlough, both in terms of the selection and process in managing the scheme and unfair dismissal claims in respect of redundancy selection and failure to consult.  Some health and safety claims can also be lodged at an employment tribunal, such as where there has been a refusal to attend work due to perceived “serious and imminent risk” from the virus as well as whistleblowing claims.

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Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme | HR Solutions

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Furlough Leave Guidance | February 2021 Update

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until the30 April 2021.  The scheme allows employers to furlough their staff for any amount of time and any work pattern.  For example: 

  • An employee can be furloughed for 100% of their usual hours or 
  • The employee works some of their normal hours with the remaining hours being placed on furlough. 

Throughout the period of furlough, employers (if eligible) can claim the government grant.  The government will pay 80% of wages for the normal hours that are not worked.  For those who undertake some work, then this will be paid at the normal rate of pay as per the contract of employment. 

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Health & Safety | New Variant of COVID-19 | HR Solutions

Health & Safety: New Variant of COVID-19
January 2021

This article aims to give you an update on the pandemic, symptoms, what to do and a refresher on workplace guidelines in relation to COVID-19.

new strain of COVID-19 is spreading rapidly across the United Kingdom. The new variant is believed to be more transmissible, contagious and has different symptoms particularly among children, but does not cause any increased severe illness.

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Coronavirus Advice and Guidance for Employers | Covid-19 | HR Solutions | Webinar

Covid-19 November 2020:  Where are we now?
Furlough extended to end of March 2021

Given that on 5th November, the Chancellor announced that the Government’s Furlough scheme is going to be extended until the end of March 2021, it is perhaps helpful to pause and take stock of all the information that has been communicated by the Government over recent weeks and consider our options at this present time. Read the full article to find out more about the Furlough Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, Job Retention Bonus and Job Support Scheme.

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Kickstart Scheme | Job Support Scheme | HR Solutions

Winter Economy Plan
Government Update | 24 September 2020

The Chancellor has announced the next phase of the UK’s economic plan as it continues in its response to the pandemic.  The Chancellor launched the Winter Economy Plan, which is ultimately about protecting people’s jobs, as it is expected that the virus and the restrictions we now follow will be a fact of life for everyone for at least 6 months.  From November, a new Job Support Scheme launches which will which replace the Furlough Scheme and see the Government directly supporting the wages of people in work, giving businesses the option to keep employees in jobs on shorter hours rather than making them redundant.

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Health and Safety Covid-19 Webinar | HR Solutions | HSE Solutions

Health and Safety at Work – Practical Guidance
Webinar Recording | 10 September 2020

In this recently recorded webinar about health and safety within the working environment, we discuss the ongoing challenges of returning to work in a Covid-safe manner. We provide you with practical steps you can take and discuss the risk assessments we have developed for you to ensure the ongoing support of your employees as you return to the workplace.

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Governments Economic Response to Covid-19 | HR Solutions | Employment Law

The Government’s Economic Response to Covid-19
Government Update | 8 July 2020

The Government has made several employment announcements, on 8th July 2020, regarding its economic response to Covid-19. The developments focus specifically on keeping people in jobs, as well as helping to ensure school and university leavers secure their first employment; one of the hardest hit during this pandemic. Read more to find out about the Job Retention Bonus and the Kickstart Scheme.

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4 Day Work Week | HR Solutions | Employment Law

Four Day Work Week Imminent?

Could our working week soon be cut to four days? A group of cross-party MPs have written a letter to the government asking for just that. The group claim that shortening the working week to four days could be the solution to helping the country recover from the economic impact of Covid-19.

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Shielding Employees Return to Work | HR Solutions | Coronavirus

Shielding Employees Returning to Work?

The Government have updated their advice to those who are shielding due to Covid-19. Those who have been shielding are classed as extremely vulnerable due to having very serious health conditions. This remains the case and so they will remain vulnerable to the virus and should continue to take precautions and be extra vigilant than those who are not.

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Family Leave and Furlough Eligibility | Maternity, Paternity, Adoption | HR Solutions | Employment Law

Family Leave and Furlough Eligibility Changes

The consequence of the 10th June deadline, as the final date for new entrants being registered to the furlough scheme, was that thousands of working parents who are on a period of statutory leave, such as maternity/adoption and paternity, and who were due back in the coming months, would not be given the same opportunity to be furloughed and therefore would miss out.

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Furlough Scheme | Coronavirus Job Retention | CJRS | HR Solutions | Employment Law

Furlough Scheme Updates and Implications
Coronavirus: What’s next? Flexible Furlough
Government Update |  12 June 2020

Following the Chancellor’s announcement on Friday 29th May and subsequent update of the 12 June 2020, the Chancellor has confirmed the following updates to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) – Furlough Scheme: 

  • The scheme would remain open until October 
  • Furloughed employees will still receive 80% of their pay as a minimum (capped) but employers will increasingly have to help fund the scheme (see below) 
  • From 1st July a new Flexible Furloughing option will be introduced. 
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Covid-19 Job Retention Scheme | Furloughing Your Employees

Return to Work Guide for Employers
Frequently Asked Questions | May 2020

This guide will help you to think about the sort of issues all businesses will need to consider as lockdown restrictions are relaxed and to help you plan for your employees return to work. The guiding principal in managing a return to work should be how you take care of your people and safeguard their health and well-being.

Return to Work Guide
Frequently Asked Questions
Watch Webinar Recording

Returning to Work | Coronavirus | Health and Safety | HR Solutions

Managing the Risk of Coronavirus in Your Workplace

If none of the work can be undertaken at home, then the government is now encouraging businesses to help their employees get back to work but to do so they need to ensure that they have complied with the government’s guidance on managing the risk in the workplace.  The government has issued new sector specific guidance to help you do this.  If businesses cannot follow the guidance in relation to a particular activity they should review whether it is essential that the activity continues and take all precautions possible to minimise the risk of transmission.  This may mean restricting the number of staff who can attend the workplace or adjusting start times and businesses will therefore need to assess the impact on the services they are able to deliver.

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Coronavirus and Furlough - What's Next | Redundancy Deadlines | HR Solutions

Coronavirus and Furlough – What’s Next?
Redundancy Deadlines | May & June Updates

As you may now be aware the government announced on 12th May 2020 a further extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).   Originally due to end on 30th June 2020, the scheme in its current form has now been extended to 31st July 2020 and it will now close on the 31 October 2020.  

On the 12th June, the Chancellor confirmed details of a new flexible furlough scheme, where from the 1 July, employees on furlough will be able to carry out work part time with the employer who furloughed them.  Employers will also be asked to share the cost of the scheme from August, which you can find in our update Coronavirus: What’s next? Flexible Furlough. 

Several businesses are concerned that even with the furlough options they may still not have sufficient work to allow everyone back at work.  There are several other options available to you at this point: including lay off, short time working and redundancy of some or all of your staff. 

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CJRS - Furlough Extended to June 2020 | Coronavirus Job Retention | HR Solutions

Furlough Extended to End of October 2020
Government Announcement | May 2020

On 12 May 2020 the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been extended by four months until the end of October 2020.

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Reclaiming Wages | Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) | HR Solutions

Reclaiming Wages Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)
Self-serve Designed Online Service

HMRC confirmed that 20th April 2020 is the launch date of the online service for reclaiming wages under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).  At around the same time, businesses will be contacted by HMRC with further advice on what they need to do to access the ‘self-serve’ designed service and accompanied guidance. The CJRS will allow businesses to make a claim for 80% of furloughed employees’ pay up to a maximum of £2500 per eligible employee.  Whatever businesses claim for the grant as gross pay, must be paid to the employees. 

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Job Retention Scheme | Coronavirus CJRS | HR Solutions

Job Retention Scheme Portal – Claiming for Furlough

HMRC have announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) portal is now live, from Monday 20th April, with the first payments being made up to 10 days later.

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Coronavirus - Eligible Furlough Employees | Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme CJRS | HR Solutions | Employment Law

Thousands More Employees Eligible for Furlough
Amid Fears of Permanent Redundancy

As many as 200,000 more UK workers will now be eligible to get support through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) after the date for eligibility was extended to 19 March 2020. The government’s decision to extend the cut-off date comes after calls from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) to extend furlough or risk permanent redundancies.

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Coronavirus Emergency Right to Work Checks | HR Solutions

Coronavirus Emergency Right to Work Checks
Government Announcement:  30 March 2020

The Home Office introduced some emergency measures on 30 March 2020 to ensure right to work checks can still be carried out during the current COVID19 crisis.

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Coronavirus Emergency Volunteering Leave (EVL) | HR Solutions | Employment Law

Coronavirus Emergency Volunteering Leave (EVL)

The Coronavirus Act 2020 brought in several measures, one of which, Schedule 7, was Emergency Volunteering Leave (EVL), which is a temporary form of statutory unpaid leave for employees who wish to volunteer in the health and social care sectors during the current crisis.

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Coronavirus Advice and Guidance for Employers | HR Solutions | Webinar

Coronavirus: Frequently Asked Questions

HR Solutions answer employers’ questions regarding: self isolating due to coronavirus, statutory sick pay (SSP), guaranteed pay, holiday pay, cancelled flights, employment contracts, short time working, forced shut down, lay off clauses and zero hour contracts.

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Covid-19 Job Retention Scheme | Furloughing Your Employees

Covid-19 Job Retention Scheme | Furloughing Your Employees
Government Announcement:  20 March 2020

The Government announced that all UK businesses will be eligible to access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which will provide support for furloughed workers.  On the 20th March 2020, the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak unveiled a further series of measures to support people, jobs and businesses.  On the 17 March 2020 the government announced more stringent action to try and reduce the spread of Covid-19 and reduce the risk to those most at risk. This includes, avoiding social gatherings, avoiding unnecessary travel, and working from home where possible.

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Brexit HR Risk Audit | HR Solutions | Employment Law

How Businesses Should Be Managing Absence

Employers will need a contingency plan in place in order to manage absences, particularly with the general advice being for those with symptoms to stay at home and avoid contact with others. Click on the ‘read’ more’ button to view the recommended general advice for managing absences as well as further details on:

  • What are employees entitled to in regard to Sick Pay?
  • Suspected cases of Coronavirus in your workplace
  • Confirmed cases of Coronavirus in your workplace
  • Avoiding Closure
  • Returning from Overseas – What action should employees be taking? 
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Crisis and Contingency Planning | Coronavirus | HR Solutions

Crisis and Contingency Planning

There are many types of threats ranging from terrorism, environmental disasters, epidemics, fires and explosions to information technology problems. In order to continue to operate a normal service it is essential to have considered the plans and measures needed to deal with such situations and to ensure all employees are familiar with them.

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Support for Businesses | Governement Grants and Funding | HR Solutions

Support for Businesses – Funding & Grants

To try and combat some of the issues which businesses are already facing, or may face in the future, the Government is releasing measures to be put in place to support businesses throughout this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. 

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HR Webinar Library - HR Solutions - Free HR Advice

Webinar Recording – Watch on Demand
Coronavirus Advice and Guidance for Employers

Recorded:  9 March 2020

HR Solutions presented this short 25 minute webinar to discuss the latest advice to employers about coronavirus (Covid-19) and give you essential steps you can take to manage the impact on your business.

Watch Webinar

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