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Archive

December, 2021

SSP self-certification – temporary extension

Posted on: December 21st, 2021 by Ginny Hallam

Employees can temporarily self-certify for 28 days (instead of seven) before being required to produce medical evidence to support their sickness absence.

The temporary change has been made to free up GP capacity to focus on the coronavirus booster rollout. The temporary change:

  1. Applies to absences beginning on or after 10 December 2021, up to and including absences beginning on or before 26 January 2022
  2. Includes non-working days such as weekends and bank holidays within the 28-day self-certification period
  3. Will revert back to the seven-day self-certification requirement for absences beginning on or after 27 January 2022

For the purposes of company sick pay, you can still require GP fit notes for absences within the 28-day self-certification period. It’s worth bearing in mind this approach may have a reputational impact and you’ll also need to cover the GP fee.

Get in touch if you need our advice or support.

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (21 December 2021), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.

Dealing with flexible working requests

Posted on: December 8th, 2021 by Ginny Hallam

There may be little flexibility in the process for dealing with flexible working requests according to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) in a recent case. Here’s the need-to-know detail: 

Background 

After the employer had rejected a flexible working request, an appeal hearing to review that decision was delayed beyond the three-month time limit. Despite the employee’s agreement to attend the appeal hearing, the employee claimed there was a breach of flexible working legislation. The EAT agreed, holding that the employee had consented to attend a delayed appeal hearing, but not an extension to the three-month period that the employer had to deal with the request.

Practical takeaways 

Agreements in writing – you can legitimately extend the three-month decision period (if required) with the employee’s specific agreement. Secure the employee’s agreement in writing to avoid any potential confusion or arguments to the contrary.

Don’t delay – the government are proposing to allow employees to request flexible working from the first day of their employment and to reduce the current three-month decision period. Following the case above and the proposed changes on the horizon being diligent with your decision-making is now even more important.

Metrics – don’t forget that no matter how quickly you respond to requests, being armed with clear, objective metrics is paramount to justify any requests you turn down.

If you need advice or support in managing flexible working requests – Intelligent Employment is here to help. Find out more.

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (08 December 2021), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.

SSP rebate reminder

Posted on: December 7th, 2021 by Ginny Hallam

You have until 31 December 2021 to submit or amend any claims under the SSP rebate scheme.

The scheme allows you to reclaim up to two weeks’ SSP paid to current (or former) employees absent from work due to reasons associated with coronavirus (reasons listed here). You can only claim:

  1. for employees who were absent on or before 30 September 2021
  2. if you had fewer than 250 employees on 28 February 2020 across all PAYE payroll schemes, and
  3. if your PAYE payroll scheme was created on or before 28 February 2020

If you need advice or support in managing sickness absence, Intelligent Employment is here to help – find out how.

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (07 December 2021), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.

Avoiding holiday headaches

Posted on: December 1st, 2021 by Ginny Hallam

If you’re approaching the end of your holiday year with a build-up of colleagues with untaken annual leave, here are a few things to consider to avoid potential holiday headaches.

Covid carry-over – rules were relaxed in 2020 to allow employees to carry over up to four weeks’ holiday into the next two holiday years. This is only the case if it wasn’t ‘reasonably practicable’ for employees to take holiday for reasons connected to coronavirus (take advice on what this means in practice).

Regular reminders – if you have a build-up in the final months of your holiday year, communicate early how you’d like employees to approach booking time off during those final months. Remember that time off is also a health and safety requirement under the Working Time Regulations so remind colleagues this is also an opportunity to rest and recharge!

Buy-back – provided it doesn’t take an employee below the statutory minimum of 5.6 weeks’ holiday, you can offer to buy back holidays if it’s proving difficult for employees to fit them in before the end of your holiday year.

Reluctant holiday-makers – perhaps the last resort, but don’t forget that you have the right to require employees to take holiday by giving them twice as much notice as the holiday you’re asking them to take (or whatever is in their contract).

If you need advice or support in managing potential holiday headaches, Intelligent Employment is here to help – find out how.

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (01 December 2021), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.