Covid-19 – Employment Law Update – 8 April 2020

Published guidance on the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

HMRC has published guidance for employers on the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme on how it operates and how to reclaim employee’s coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay.

Published guidance on furloughed apprentices

The Department of Education has published further guidance on the introduction of flexibilities for furloughed apprentices, allowing them to continue their training under certain conditions: (COVID-19): guidance for apprentices, employers, training providers, end-point assessment organisations and external quality assurance providers.

Employment Tribunals publish FAQ’s

The Employment Tribunals Judiciary in both England and Wales and Scotland have published a document which acknowledges that the current Covid-19 pandemic has made it difficult for the Employment Tribunals to respond swiftly to enquiries by email and telephone.  The document aims to answers some of the FAQs arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Joint statement from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Trades Union Congress (TUC), and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI)

HSE, TUC and CBI have issued a joint statement to clarify the position on the health and safety of workers during the Covid-19 pandemic.  It says that employers are and must continue to provide workers with information about risks to their health and the actions their employers must take.  The statement says that if it comes to the HSE’s attention that employers are not complying with the relevant PHE guidance, including social distancing where practical, the HSE will consider a range of actions including advice to employers and enforcement & prohibition notices.

TUPE transferred employees can be furloughed according to MP

Employment barrister Sean Jones QC reports on Twitter that David Johnston, the MP for Wantage, has confirmation from the Treasury that individuals who are TUPE transferred on or after 28 February 2020 can be furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

LinkedIn publishes data on industries that are hiring

According to LinkedIn, hiring in the transportation and logistics industry was 6.9% higher than last year and hardware and networking businesses are also hiring due to the shift to remote work, while the healthcare industry has also seen an increase in positions.

Uber to encourage drivers to help grocery retailers

Uber reportedly has plans to encourage its drivers to seek positions as food delivery drivers with some of the UK’s major food and grocery retailers as Uber drivers cannot access the Self-employed Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme until at least June 2020 and the UK’s major food retailers are struggling to cope with demand for home deliveries.

Waitrose changes position on staff pay during self-isolation

Waitrose has reportedly apologised after requesting that staff pay-back time taken off work to self-isolate. A Waitrose spokesperson said, “We are really sorry that we got it wrong. We’ve listened to our Partners and changed our policy.” More on the story here.

Should you require any assistance with your employment arrangements during this difficult period, do not hesitate to contact the co-head partners of our employment department.  Ewan Keen can be reached at 020 3206 2724 or ewan.keen@smab.co.uk or Tamara Ludlow at 020 3206 2739 or tamara.ludlow@smab.co.uk.