Coronavirus - How Employers and Employees will be affected
Below is the complete guide issued by HMRC on how to deal with Covid-19.
We are available if you would like to speak to us over any concerns you may have in these difficult times.
If as business you are struggling to pay the PAYE to HMRC then please contact HMRC on 08000159559. HMRC are willing to agree payment arrangements.
It's good practice for employers to:
- keep everyone updated on actions being taken to reduce risks of exposure in the workplace
- make sure everyone's contact numbers and emergency contact details are up to date
- consider extra precautions for staff who might be more vulnerable, for example if someone is pregnant, aged 70 or over, or has a long-term health condition
- make sure managers know how to spot symptoms of coronavirus and are clear on any relevant processes, for example sickness reporting and sick pay, and procedures in case someone in the workplace shows symptoms of the virus
- make sure there are clean places to wash hands with hot water and soap, and encourage everyone to wash their hands regularly
- provide hand sanitiser and tissues for staff, and encourage them to use them
- consider if any travel or meetings are necessary and if meetings can be held remotely instead
- keep up to date - https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response
Self-isolation and sick pay
Employees and workers must receive any Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) due to them if they need to self-isolate because:
- they have coronavirus
- they have coronavirus symptoms, for example a high temperature or new continuous cough
- someone in their household has coronavirus symptoms
- they've been told to self-isolate by a doctor or NHS 111
- If someone has symptoms, everyone in their household must self-isolate for 14 days. Those who live alone must self-isolate for 7 days.
Employers might offer more than SSP – 'contractual' sick pay. Find out more about sick pay.
If an employee or worker cannot work, they should tell their employer:
- as soon as possible
- the reason
- how long they're likely to be off for
The employer might need to be flexible if they require evidence from the employee or worker. For example, someone might not be able to provide a sick note ('fit note') if they've been told to self-isolate for more than 7 days.
Social distancing, flexible working and working from home
Current government advice is for everyone to try and stop unnecessary contact with other people – 'social distancing'. This includes:
- working from home where possible
- avoiding busy commuting times on public transport
- avoiding gatherings of people, whether in public, at work or at home
Employers should support their workforce to take these steps. This might include:
- agreeing to more flexible ways of working, for example changing start and finish times to avoid busier commuting times
- allowing staff to work from home wherever possible
- cancelling face-to-face events and meetings and rearranging to remote calling where possible, for example using video or conference calling technology
Working from home
Where work can be done at home, the employer could:
- ask staff who have work laptops or mobile phones to take them home so they can carry on working
- arrange paperwork tasks that can be done at home for staff who do not work on computers
If an employer and employee agree to working from home, the employer should:
- pay the employee as usual
- keep in regular contact
- check on the employee's health and wellbeing
In these unfortunate times you may find yourself letting staff go or be unable to provide work for them, which leaves you no choice but to make them redundant. Please see the following link for more information on redundancy: https://www.gov.uk/staff-redundant
If there is a contract of employment, please refer to this in the first instance. Otherwise, should you wish to discuss anything in more detail or if you would like specific advice then please do not hesitate to contact your Sopher + Co adviser. Alternatively you can complete our online contact form, email us at email@example.com or call 020 8207 0602.