Furloughed Workers

Can employees who are certified as sick be made furloughed workers?

Further details will be made available by the government soon.

 

Can employees who are off on any other leave e.g. Sick leave, maternity leave, paternity leave be made furloughed workers?

Further details will be made available by the government soon. It is likely there will be specific rules for employees on maternity leave and receiving statutory maternity pay.

 

What options do we have to give our employees alongside the option to become a furloughed worker e.g. statutory redundancy?

The idea behind the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is for businesses to retain employees during the period in order that they can bring them back when the business situation improves (subject to the current scheme duration)

 

Can employees work for other employers whilst furloughed e.g. supermarkets, NHS?

Furloughed employees cannot work for you during this period and their NI number will be supplied to HMRC. This is a unique identifier so unless their work was voluntary and unpaid, we would not expect them to be able to work for other organisations. They still remain your employees

 

Will employees continue to accrue annual leave while furloughed?

Yes

 

Will PAYE continue to be deducted in the normal way?

We are still awaiting the details, but the scheme is not intended to make employees financially better off so would expect PAYE to be deducted

 

Can Trade Unions negotiate on behalf of all employees in a collective agreement situation?

Yes, this is possible where such an agreement is in place

 

Can we deduct pension, and other voluntary deductions from furloughed workers pay?

We are still awaiting further guidance of exactly how the scheme will work in this regard

 

Can employees intermittently be furloughed, punctuated by periods of paid holiday or working?

We are still awaiting further guidance but would doubt whether the scheme can be switched on and off regularly. Employees will continue to accrue annual leave whilst furloughed

Will other periods of authorised absence be suspended during this time eg maternity leave?

Furlough is a temporary lay off and in this case the government have undertaken to pay up to 80% of salary as a mechanism to prevent mass unemployment where an employee may be expected to resume work again in the future. It will not replace other schemes such as Maternity leave which will remain in place. Most of the SMP can be recovered

 

Do I need to top up the other 20%?

You can fund the difference if you wish but there is no obligation to do this under the scheme

 

Who is Covered by the scheme?

All that has been announced so far is that it covers furloughed employees. Therefore, it does not cover:

self-employed individuals whether working as a sole trader or through a partnership or LLP.

Workers who are working on personal contracts but do not satisfy the conditions to be an employee (those with no holiday or sick pay entitlement)

These people will have to rely on the benefits system to assist them during this period.

 

 

Prestfest – Date Change

DATE CHANGED TO SEPTEMBER 5TH

The organisers of Prestfest, a headline event in the city’s calendar to promote Preston’s award-winning leisure scene, have confirmed that the event is to be postponed in the interest of minimising any potential spread of the Coronavirus.

The event, scheduled to take place on the Flag Market on Saturday June 6th, will now take place in the same location on Saturday 5th September, as will the free Prestfest for Families event.

Despite the Government not yet issuing instructions to postpone or cancel mass gatherings, organisers have taken the proactive step to ensure attendees, and the wider city centre, are not affected by any cancellation instructions closer to the event.

Stacey Penney, the BID’s night economy representative said: “Steps like this are not considered lightly, the decision to postpone the event has been taken simply as a precaution given public concern around the Coronavirus.  We have considered all information available to us and have decided to move the event to September 5th.”

Mark Whittle from Preston BID added: “The welfare and safety of attendees, and that of the city centre users at large, are our primary concerns – naturally we are disappointed to have to move the event, but in the interest of reducing any potential risk of impact from mass gatherings, or on front line services, we feel it is the practical thing to do.

“Almost 1,000 guests who have already purchased tickets to the event will be offered replacement tickets for September 5th, those who are unable to make the new date will be offered a refund”.

The city’s stores, bars, restaurants, clubs and hotels continue to operate as normal.

Anyone with any questions is asked to email: prestfest2020@outlook.com

COVID-19

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is advising against all travel to Hubei Province, where the outbreak started, and all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China. It also advises British nationals in China to leave, more HERE.

The Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development has produced a fact sheet, which sets out how employers should respond to the threat from coronavirus. To download it, click here.

The World Health Organisation has more detailed information including videos on best practice and posters to download to inform your workforce. There’s also a useful myth-buster section and advice on when face masks are appropriate. Click HERE.

This covers the situation in the UK, provides information about the virus and outlines the action the Government is taking to prevent its spread.

The NHS has a concise guide to coronavirus setting out how it is spread, how to avoid catching it, symptoms, treatment and what to do if you think you or any of your employees might be infected. Details HERE.

The official guidance from the Department of Health and Social Care, and Public Health England, is here.

Guidance for employers, click HERE.

Preventative measures for employees, click HERE.

Guidance for staff in the transport sector, click HERE.