Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is a temporary scheme open to all UK employers for at least three months starting from 1 March 2020. It is designed to support employers whose operations have been severely affected by coronavirus, with employers able to claim for 80% of furloughed employees' (employees on a leave of absence) usual monthly wage cost, up to £2,500 a month. For more information click here.
For further guidance for employers, click here.
Self Employed Support
Further information on the UK Governments Self-employment income support scheme.
Social Distancing in the workplace
You can travel to work, but only where you cannot work from home.
Employers and employees should discuss their working arrangements, and employers should take every possible step to facilitate their employees working from home, including providing suitable IT and equipment to enable remote working.
Sometimes this will not be possible, as not everyone can work from home. Certain jobs require people to travel to, from and for their work – for instance if they operate machinery, work in construction or manufacturing, or are delivering front line services.
If you cannot work from home then you can still travel for work purposes, provided you are not showing coronavirus symptoms and neither you nor any of your household are self-isolating. This is consistent with advice from the Chief Medical Officer.
The Welsh Government has published guidance on physical distancing in the workplace.
As set out in the business advice section on closing certain businesses and venues, the Government has published guidance on which organisations are covered by this requirement. Advice for employees of these organisations on employment and financial support is available at gov.uk/coronavirus.
At all times, workers should follow the guidance on self-isolation if they or anyone in their household shows symptoms.
Rules on carrying over annual leave to be relaxed to support key industries during COVID-19
Workers who have not taken all of their statutory annual leave entitlement due to COVID-19 will now be able to carry it over into the next 2 leave years.
- Government to amend regulations to allow annual leave to be carried over into the next 2 years
- measures will ensure workers won’t lose their leave entitlements
- move gives flexibility to business at a time when it is needed most
Workers who have not taken all of their statutory annual leave entitlement due to COVID-19 will now be able to carry it over into the next 2 leave years, under measures introduced by Business Secretary Alok Sharma today (Friday 27 March).
Currently, almost all workers are entitled to 28 days holiday including bank holidays each year. However, most of this entitlement cannot be carried between leave years, meaning workers lose their holiday if they do not take it.
There is also an obligation on employers to ensure their workers take their statutory entitlement in any one year – failure to do so could result in a financial penalty.
The regulations will allow up to 4 weeks of unused leave to be carried into the next 2 leave years, easing the requirements on business to ensure that workers take statutory amount of annual leave in any one year.
This will mean staff can continue working in the national effort against the coronavirus without losing out on annual leave entitlement.
The changes will also ensure all employers affected by COVID-19 have the flexibility to allow workers to carry over leave at a time when granting annual leave could leave them short-staffed in some of Britain’s key industries, such as food and healthcare.
Business Secretary Alok Sharma said:
it is in our hospitals, or our supermarkets, people are working around the clock to help our country deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
Today’s changes will mean these valued employees do not lose out on the annual leave they are entitled to as a result of their efforts, and employers are not penalised.
Environment Secretary George Eustice said:
From our fields to our supermarkets, we are hugely grateful to the many people working around the clock to keep the nation fed.
At this crucial time, relaxing laws on statutory leave will help ensure key workers can continue the important work to keep supplies flowing, but without losing the crucial time off they are entitled to.
We welcome the measures the food industry is already taking to keep shelves stocked and supply chains resilient, and will continue to support them with their response to coronavirus.
The changes will amend the Working Time Regulations, which apply to almost all workers, including agency workers, those who work irregular hours, and workers on zero-hours contracts.
The change is aimed at allowing businesses under particular pressure from the impacts of COVID-19 the flexibility to better manage their workforce, while protecting workers’ right to paid holiday.
For the Welsh Governments full list of key worker professions, click here.
For benefit advice, including changes to Statutory Sick Pay, Universal Credit etc, visit the benefits section.
- UK Government: Find out what support is available for your business using the business support finder.
- Welsh Government: Taking all reasonable measures to maintain physical distancing in the workplace: guidance on compliance with 7 April regulations on maintaining 2 metres’ distance in workplaces.
- Welsh Government: List of ‘key worker’ professions (27 March)
- UK Government: Guidance on going to work and staying at home
- UK Government: Rules on carrying over annual leave to be relaxed to support key industries during COVID-19 (27 March)
- UK Government, COVID-19: guidance for employees: This includes information on sick pay and benefits. People can claim sick pay if they are self-isolating or ill. The guidance also now covers workers who cannot work because of the pandemic (known as ‘furloughed’ workers), and an eligibility checker for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, through which the UK Government will pay 80% of furloughed workers’ wages via their employers.
- UK Government: Self-employment income support scheme
- UK Government, COVID-19: guidance for employers
- House of Commons Library: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: How will it fit with employment law?
- NHS Wales: Symptom checker and tool to get an ‘isolation’ note to give to employers
- Citizens Advice: provide benefits and employment advice online or on the phone – 03444 77 20 20. It also has an information page on coronavirus
- Acas, Coronavirus: advice for employers and employees