COVID-19/Coronavirus – Helpful information for Employers
Advice regarding Coronavirus and the response by Government and other agencies to it will be regularly updated. Rather than recycle their information, we have signposted the important links below and we provide some general best practice advice for employers.
Stay up to date
Government information and updates
- Latest daily update and what the Government is doing about the virus
- COVID-19. Guidance for employers and businesses
- What you need to know about Coronavirus from Public Health England
- What is self-isolation and why is it important?
General best practice advice for employers:
- Keep all staff regularly updated on actions being taken to reduce risks of exposure in the workplace
- Make sure everyone's contact numbers and emergency contact details are up to date in the event you need to make quick decisions and communicate them to staff
- Ensure managers know the symptoms of coronavirus and are clear on any relevant processes, for example sickness reporting
- Make sure there are clean places to wash hands with hot water and soap, and encourage everyone to wash their hands regularly
- Provide hand sanitisers (where possible) and tissues for staff, and encourage them to use them
- Understand options regarding resource management in the short term via lay-offs and short-term working
- Review whether travel plans to affected areas is essential
- Consider opportunities for meetings to be conducted via the internet and for some staff to carry on working effectively from home.
Coronavirus and sick pay
Contractual sick pay
Sick leave and pay policies vary between companies, but in many employees’ employment contracts there will be provision to receive their normal pay while they are unable to work because of sickness. The situation relating to self-isolation is slightly different, as an employee may be away from work but not actually sick, and so not automatically entitled. That said, it is generally accepted in the current climate to be good practice to offer contractual sick pay.
Depending on an employee’s role it may be possible, during self-isolation, to agree an arrangement to work from home with minimal disruption to performance. This may be the best outcome but won’t work across the board for all employees.
An employer and employee may agree to manage the self-isolation period by other means like taking holiday or unpaid leave.
Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
If NHS 111 or a Doctor advises an employee or a worker to self-isolate, they should receive statutory sick pay. As part of its Coronavirus response, the Government says SSP in such cases will be paid from day one, as opposed to day four which is usually the case. To be eligible for SSP, a person needs to be earning at least £118 per week.
SSP is money paid by employers, so self-employed people are not eligible.
If you are an employer and have any concerns regarding your response to staff and workers who themselves are worried about their own health and welfare, do not hesitate to contact us.