Covid-19 – Latest Guidance from the Government – 6.00pm 8th April 2020

James Williams

Main points from today

  • Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, led the briefing today and announced a £750 million support package for charities.

Latest Guidance (employment and business)
Social distancing in the workplace during coronavirus (COVID-19): sector guidance – NEW – a list of tailored advice for different scenarios as an example of how social distancing and other measures might be implemented by employers in England to help protect their workforce and customers from coronavirus while still continuing to trade.

Claim for your employees’ wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Although not formally updated, the guidance on whether furlough applies to employees off sick or those with caring responsibilities has been clarified:-

If your employee is self-isolating or on sick leave
If you’re employee is on sick leave or self-isolating, they’ll be able to get Statutory Sick Pay.

You cannot claim for employees while they’re getting Statutory Sick Pay, but they can be furloughed and claimed for once they are no longer receiving Statutory Sick Pay.

Shielding Employees
You can claim for furloughed employees who are shielding in line with public health guidance (or need to stay home with someone who is shielding) if they are unable to work from home and you would otherwise have to make them redundant.

Employees with caring responsibilities
Employees who are unable to work because they have caring responsibilities resulting from coronavirus (COVID-19) can be furloughed. For example, employees that need to look after children can be furloughed.

Claim a grant through the coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme
No further guidance today.

Latest Guidance (health)
No new guidance today.

The following new guidance today:-
Coronavirus (COVID-19): implementing social distancing in education and childcare settings – Added updated guidance and Q&A.
Q: Do schools, colleges and childcare settings need personal protective equipment (PPE)?
The scientific advice indicates that educational staff do not require personal protective equipment. This is needed by medical and care professionals providing specific close contact care, or procedures that create airborne risk, such as suctioning and physiotherapy, for anyone who has coronavirus (COVID-19), and is displaying symptoms.

If you are not providing this care to someone with the virus, and displaying symptoms, PPE is not needed. Asymptomatic people (people with the virus but not displaying symptoms) have a reduced viral load and so risk of transmission is considerably reduced.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): school and college performance measures
As part of steps taken to fight the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), the government announced that all exams due to take place in schools and colleges in England in summer 2020 are cancelled and that it will not publish any school or college level educational performance data based on tests, assessments or exams for 2020.

This update is to clarify what this means for the way school and college accountability will operate for 2019 to 2020.  5:09pm, 8 April 2020

The general school guidance starts here:-
Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for schools and other educational settings

General Guidance
The general coronavirus guidance starts here:-

James Williams – Solicitor

James Williams

I am a qualified Employment Law and HR Solicitor. I specialise in acting for schools and advise on all aspects of employment law and HR including attending employee meetings, advising senior leaders, conducting redundancy consultations, drafting contracts of employment, advising on policies and procedures and negotiating settlement agreements.