Detail on the Job Support Scheme

We now have some further information on the new Job Support Scheme (JSS), announced by the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, on 24th September 2020.

Announcement: Job Support Scheme

The Chancellor has this morning announced his ‘winter plan’ for the next phase of Government support to businesses following the end of the current furlough scheme on 31st October, 2020.

Tips to Prevent Workplace Mental Health Problems

We’ve seen an increase in enquiries relating to employees who are being signed off sick with mental health issues since the start of lockdown.

Do you have employees, workers – or neither?

In a recent case Varnish v British Cycling Federation (t/a British Cycling), Ms Varnish was a professional cyclist and British Cycling is a not-for-profit organisation.

What are “reasonable adjustments” when an employee returns to work?

You will often see on a GP fit note a request for employers to consider making “reasonable adjustments” to allow an employee to return to work following a period of absence. Understandably this leave you with more questions than answers, so what sort of things should you be considering? Adjusting start and finish times/work patterns Reducing working hours (and therefore reducing salary pro rata) Agreeing a phased return, eg half days, gradually increasing over a period of weeks Reallocation of duties Reducing targets Amending the reporting line to a different manager Permitting the employee to work from home either full-time or a number of days per week Permitting time off for subsequent appointments, treatment etc Offering additional support Considering a completely different role Don’t make the mistake of making assumptions about what you think will benefit the employee – always involve them in your thinking. It is important that you are able to show that you have given adequate consideration to the employee’s individual circumstances and done everything you possibly can that would be reasonably expected of you to help. However, do bear in mind that you are not expected to make changes that could put your business in jeopardy or have a significant negative cost impact on the business.

Is a Private Coronavirus Test a Taxable Benefit?

Some clients have starting testing employees for coronavirus before returning to work from furlough as a means of keeping everyone safe. However, there is a question as to whether these tests would be considered a taxable benefit.

What are your obligations to employees self-isolating after a holiday?

We’ve had several enquiries from clients asking what their obligations are when employees have taken holidays in Spain and now France, Malta and the Netherlands and have to self-isolate for 14 days on their return.

Further details of the Job Retention Bonus announced

The Government have today announced the details of the Job Retention Bonus Scheme which can be found on the website

Is working from home likely to become the norm?

There are many employees who cannot wait to return to work from the office and there are those that are either apprehensive of going back to the office and those who have become used to working from home.

Disciplinary and grievance procedures during the pandemic

Legislation relating to disciplinary and grievance procedures and the Acas Code of Practice still apply during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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