Covid-19 – Latest Guidance from the Government – 6.30pm 30th March 2020

James Williams

Main points from today
•Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, announced a new Government partnership with airlines to fly back more tourists stranded abroad.
•Government chartered flights from priority countries to UK over the weekend and more to take place this week.
•Up to £75m Government funding pledged to bring UK travellers back home.

Latest Guidance (employment and business)

Claim for wage costs through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Claim a grant through the coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme

Some points to highlight:-
•The minimum length of time an employee can be furloughed is 3 weeks. If the furlough period ends prior to this an employer cannot claim the grant.
•Furloughed employees must have been on your PAYE payroll on 28 February 2020, and can be on any type of contract, including: ◦full-time employees
◦part-time employees
◦employees on agency contracts
◦employees on flexible or zero-hour contracts

•Employees on sick leave or self-isolating should get Statutory Sick Pay, but can be furloughed after this.
•Employees who are shielding in line with public health guidance can be placed on furlough.
•Holidays – an employee can agree to take holiday or can be required with appropriate notice. However, it is unclear and, we would go further and say doubtful, whether furlough payments can be used towards discharging annual leave, even with the employer topping up the balance. Also bear in mind that if an employee who has 5.6 weeks holiday entitlement in furloughed for a period of 12 weeks, the equates to an accrual of 7 days holiday pay. Holiday leave can be carried forward for 2 leave years.

Latest Guidance (health)
Nothing new today.

Late Friday evening the Government published the following additional guidance for schools:

COVID-19: safeguarding in schools, colleges and other providers – Guidance for schools and colleges to support them keeping children safe, including online, during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 9:41pm, 27 March 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on vulnerable children and young people
Questions and answers about the provisions being made for vulnerable children and young people. Updated the following sections of the guidance: 13, 20, 21, 22, 24, 26, 27 and 30.
10:19pm, 27 March 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19): school closures – What schools will need to do during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Updated questions on ‘How are vulnerable children defined’, ‘Is it compulsory for parents of vulnerable children to accept their place offer’, ‘Will critical workers or parents of vulnerable children be penalised if they do not send their child to school’, ‘What should schools do if vulnerable children do not attend school’ and what public health advice should schools follow’. 10:19pm, 27 March 2020

No new guidance today.

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.