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Covid-19

Reminder on self-isolation requirements

Posted on: November 10th, 2021 by Ginny Hallam

With Covid-19 cases on the increase over the last month, here is a reminder on self-isolation requirements still in place for those who haven’t been ‘double-vaccinated’ and live with someone who has tested positive.

10-day isolation – if an employee is unvaccinated or has had only one dose, and they live with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19, they’re required to self-isolate for 10 days. This is the case irrespective of whether the employee has had a negative test result.

Medical exemption – if an employee is unvaccinated for medical reasons (confirmed by a doctor) and they live with someone who has tested positive, the employee won’t need to self-isolate provided they have a negative test result.

Sick pay – employees self-isolating under these circumstances will be entitled to at least statutory sick pay for the days they’re off work.

Get in touch if you need advice or support in managing self-isolation requirements or employees unable to attend work due to Covid-19. 

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (10 November 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.

Furlough scheme ends tomorrow

Posted on: September 29th, 2021 by Ginny Hallam

The furlough and statutory sick pay rebate schemes will finally come to a close tomorrow (30 September). Here’s what you need to know:

Ending furlough – unless your furlough agreement says otherwise, there’s no minimum notice required to inform employees their period of furlough is ending and you should end any furlough agreements in writing.

Redundancy – if you’re left with no other option but to consider making redundancies with furlough support removed, following a fair and robust process is paramount. We’ve provided extensive practical insight to help you tackle the process proactively, pragmatically, and secure the right outcome for your business and your people.

SSP rebate scheme – set up to allow 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):

  1. The scheme is ending tomorrow meaning you can only claim for employees who were absent on or before 30 September 2021
  2. You’ll have until 31 December 2021 to submit or amend any claims
  3. To be eligible for the scheme you must have had fewer than 250 employees on 28 February 2020 across all PAYE payroll schemes (your PAYE payroll scheme must have been created on or before 28 February 2020)

Get in touch if you need advice or support on how the end to furlough will impact your business.

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (29 September 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.

Furlough scheme to end – 30 September

Posted on: September 8th, 2021 by Ginny Hallam

Having supported a total of 11.6 million jobs since it began, the furlough scheme is coming to an end on 30 September 2021. If any employees are still on furlough, here are a few things to consider before the scheme ends:

Notice – unless your furlough agreement says otherwise, there’s no minimum notice required to inform employees their period of furlough is ending and you should end any furlough agreements in writing (click here to access our template letter). Wherever possible, talk to employees as early as you can about plans for their return to work.

Planning the return – share any measures you’ve introduced to keep the workplace safe, any adjusted working arrangements introduced, and give those returning an opportunity to raise any concerns about their return. Allow employees time to adjust, think about whether refresher training is necessary, and share any wellbeing resources you have available to smooth out their integration back into the team.

Redundancy – if you’re left with no other option but to consider making redundancies when furlough support ends, following a fair and robust process is paramount. We’ve provided extensive practical insight to help you tackle the process proactively, pragmatically, and secure the right outcome for your business and your people.

Get in touch if you need advice or support on how the end to furlough will impact your business. 

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (8 September 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.

Furlough fail – new tribunal guidance

Posted on: August 11th, 2021 by Ginny Hallam

Failing to consider furlough when making an employee redundant may make the dismissal unfair following a recent decision.

Background

The employee was a care assistant with over two years’ service. She was put at risk of redundancy. The employee asked to be furloughed with her employer refusing due to there being ‘no work for her’ – she was dismissed by reason of redundancy in July 2020 and claimed unfair dismissal.

Practical takeaway 

Firstly, this decision does not mean that if you choose to make redundancies whilst furlough is available you’ll automatically be found to have done so unfairly. But, as ever the tribunal will look at the steps you took to avoid making redundancies including your approach to furlough.

If you take the decision that furlough is not a viable alternative to redundancies, you’ll need to discuss this as part of the consultation, keep records of your conversations, evidence why furlough wasn’t a viable alternative and write to the employee confirming as much.

Get in touch if you need our support in avoiding redundancies or navigating your way through the process. 

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (12 August 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.

Furlough ending 30 September

Posted on: July 26th, 2021 by Ginny Hallam

The furlough scheme is due to close at the end of September 2021. From 1 August employers will be required to make a greater contribution to furloughed employees’ wages.

End to furlough – the scheme is due to end on 30 September 2021. The latest government figures show that around 2.3 million employees are still being furloughed (compared to the 8.8 million peak in May 2020).

Furlough contributions – from 1 August to 30 September, the government will contribute 60% of wages up to £1,875 and you will need to contribute the remaining 20% up to £625 when employees are furloughed (along with NICs and pension contributions).

Top up – you can still decide to top up employees’ wages beyond the 80% total while furloughed.

Notice pay – don’t forget that you cannot use furlough to cover notice pay.

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (26 July 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.