Emergency powers bill (‘Coronavirus Act 2020’)
Following agreement by both Houses on the text of the Bill it received Royal Assent on 25 March. The Bill is now an Act of Parliament (law).
The Act enables action in 5 Key Areas:
- Increasing the available health and social care workforce
- Easing the burden on front line staff
- Containing and slowing the virus
- Managing the deceased with respect and dignity
- Supporting people
The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill received royal assent on 25 June and is now an Act. The Act has been put in place to relieve the burden on businesses during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and allow them to focus all their efforts on continuing to operate.
Some of the measures in the Act came into effect immediately on Friday 26 June (guidance).
Other measures came into effect on Saturday 27 June once the secondary legislation came into force (guidance).
The link below provides interesting insight and answers into potential areas of legal concerns for UK Businesses in relation to Coronavirus.
If you are concerned about any potential legal implications from Coronavirus on your business, then it is best to seek advice from the professionals.
If you are unsure about the type of legal expert you should be contacting, then speak to your local Growth Hub for advice.
Workers who have been placed on furlough continue to accrue statutory holiday entitlements, and any additional holiday provided for under their employment contract. Use the government holiday entitlement calculator to calculate a worker’s statutory holiday entitlement.
For those who have continued to work, as well as those who have been furloughed, guidance on how holiday entitlement and pay operate during the coronavirus pandemic is available HERE
From Tuesday 26 May 2020, small and medium-sized employers, with fewer than 250 employees, will be able to apply to recover the costs of paying coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) payments they have made to their employees.
Employers will be able to make claims to the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme through a new online service as from 26 May. Employers will receive repayments at the relevant rate of SSP that they have paid to current or former employees for eligible periods of sickness starting on or after 13 March 2020.
HMRC has published online guidance which includes information about who can use the scheme and the records employers must keep. Click here to find out more.
Certifying Absence from Work
By law, medical evidence is not required for the first 7 days of sickness. After 7 days, employers may use their discretion around the need for medical evidence if an employee is staying at home. For more information follow this link.
Businesses have to ‘designate affected employees as furloughed workers and notify your employees of this change’. However, employers still have to heed employment law which means that, having designated those employees whose jobs were at risk, they will need to agree with those employees that they will be ‘furloughed’.
If you and your employer both agree that they’re unable to operate or have no work for you to do because of Coronavirus (COVID-19). This is known as being ‘on furlough’.
You do not need to place all your employees on furlough. However, those employees who you do place on furlough cannot undertake work for you.