Coronavirus Essentials: Employment Law for your business

As the outbreak of coronavirus (Covid-19) continues to challenge individual well-being and the continuity of businesses within the UK and across the World, we are here to help.

As imagined, we continue receiving questions from clients regarding employers managing their staff requirements, business continuity and ensuring business payments.

If you are thinking of taking action with employees, stop! First, please review the Employment Law Toolkit below. It may provide you with answers. If you still have questions, please email our employment team.

We are regularly updating this page as the situation changes so would encourage you to revisit for the latest information. 

For general advice about Covid-19 please visit our dedicated Coronavirus Support page which is being updated regularly.

For tips to increase cash flowing into the business, contact our Commercial Recoveries team who can act within 24 hours of instruction, and have a high success rate.

If you are a business landlord or tenant, here are the essentials you need to know about leases and forfeiture.

We would like to reassure you that here at HM, we are maintaining business as usual and have measures in place to take phone appointments and work remotely.

Struggling with employment law questions relating to the coronavirus?

As an employer, are you struggling to understand the impact the coronavirus is having, or might have, on your business?

Please note: in terms of furlough workers, if you are not registered with HMRC it can take up to 10 days for you to become registered and get a PIN to allow the furlough payments to come in. Here are 3 Top Tips covering the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and furlough workers.

To help you we have created a toolkit below based on questions our Employment Law team have received, with answers and advice on how to take proactive steps forward for your employees and your business.

As the situation changes we will continue to add to this information to help you get through the challenges you might be facing right now. This includes staff working from home, temporary staff lay-offs, furlough workers, or redundancies.

Employers: here’s how to claim for employees under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme).

Employees: here’s how to check if your employer can use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

HM’s Employment Law Toolkit:

For even further information to advise you and your business, find our supporting information below. We will be continuing to add information here on a daily basis.

  1. Handy summary of measures in place supporting employees and self-employed workers.
  2. Here are the Home Office FAQs on the Job Retention Scheme
  3. Employment Law Dos & Don’ts – including how to stay on the right side of the law during this unprecedented period.
  4. Concerns about job retention and furlough workers.
  5. Supporting information surrounding emergency time off to care for a dependent, particularly parent’s with children whilst their schools/nurseries are closed.

Annual Leave Update 27th March

Govt announcement: The rules on carrying over annual leave are being relaxed to support key workers who have not taken their statutory annual leave due to coronavirus. Workers can carry up to 4 weeks annual leave into the next two ‘leave’ years.
Read the full press release here:

Our general recommendations for employers

1. We recommend that as an employer, you take steps to put in place policies and procedures to protect employees, prevent spread of the virus in the workplace, and develop a contingency plan should a business shut down need to occur. If not actioned already, this includes using technology to ensure the majority of staff can work from home remotely, conference calling, phone appointments etc.

We further encourage proactively communicating with employees as things change. Recommended essential updates:

We would then suggest that you develop a COBRA-like team including senior members of staff, who can discuss and communicate these daily updates from the government and NHS with all employees.

Here at HM, our VIPER team is doing a great job of this.

With information regularly changing, we recommend that you assure the messages in your communications, or any new policies and procedures are consistent and reassure all employees (without exception) that their health and well-being is of upmost importance to you.

This will help to reduce claims of discrimination for example.

Businesses are facing unprecedented challenges right now. Please be reassured that we are here to help – pick up the phone or email us if you have any concerns about the impact of coronavirus on your business over the coming months.

If you are a business and require legal advice, or need any further information in this period of uncertainty, please get in touch with our dedicated Employment Law Team. Send our team an email or give them a call for more information and advice.

We will continue to update you as government and public health updates change. We thank you for your understanding at this time.

You can also visit our website page for regular updates including legal advice.