Coronavirus and Sick Pay

Coronavirus graphic on what you need to doWe have been asked for clarification on Sick Pay during the Coronavirus, so here is the official Government advice

Sick pay

Those who follow advice to stay at home and who cannot work as a result will be eligible for statutory sick pay (SSP), even if they are not themselves sick.

Employers should use their discretion and respect the medical need to self-isolate in making decisions about sick pay.

Anyone not eligible to receive sick pay, including those earning less than an average of £118 per week, some of those working in the gig economy, or self-employed people, is able to claim Universal Credit and or contributory Employment and Support Allowance.

For those on a low income and already claiming Universal Credit, it is designed to automatically adjust depending on people’s earnings or other income. However, if someone needs money urgently they can apply for an advance through the journal.

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.

We strongly suggest that employers use their discretion around the need for medical evidence for a period of absence where an employee is advised to stay at home either as they are unwell themselves, or live with someone who is, in accordance with the public health advice issued by the government.

More details are available by clicking here

Advice for Employers is available from ACAS

Working from home

For any employee working from home, the employer should:

  • pay the employee as usual
  • keep in regular contact
  • check on the employee’s health and wellbeing

Find out more about:

If evidence is required to cover self-isolation or household isolation beyond the first 7 days of absence then employees can get an isolation note from NHS 111 online or from the NHS website.

More advice from ACAS can be found by clicking here

TUPE

Image result for Transfer of Undertaking TUPETUPE

TUPE stands for the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations

The TUPE rules apply to organisations of all sizes and protect employees’ rights when the organisation or service they work for transfers to a new employer.

TUPE has impacts for the employer who is making the transfer (also known as the outgoing employer or the transferor) and the employer who is taking on the transfer (also known as the incoming employer, the ‘new employer’ or the transferee).

When does TUPE apply?

There are two situations when the TUPE regulations may apply; business transfers and service provision transfers.

In business transfers

The TUPE regulations apply if a business or part of a business moves to a new owner or merges with another business to make a brand new employer.

In service provision transfers

The TUPE regulations apply in the following situations:

  • a contractor takes over activities from a client (known as outsourcing).
  • a new contractor takes over activities from another contractor (known as re-tendering).
  • a client takes over activities from a contractor (known as in sourcing).

 ACAS had produced a short introductory video to explain TUPE which you can find here

Terms and conditions under TUPE

When TUPE applies, the employees of the outgoing employer automatically become employees of the incoming employer at the point of transfer. They carry with them their continuous service from the outgoing employer, and should continue to enjoy the same terms and conditions of employment with the incoming employer.

Following a transfer, employers often find they have employees with different terms and conditions working alongside each other and wish to change/harmonise terms and conditions. However, TUPE protects against change/harmonisation for an indefinite period if the sole or principal reason for the change is the transfer. Any such changes will be void.

More detailed information can be found here

Disagreements and Disputes in Charities

conflict resolutionWhy internal disputes are a problem

Charity trustees, staff and members can sometimes disagree with each other over decisions about the charity.

A serious disagreement within a charity may cause the charity problems and damage its reputation.

It is your responsibility as trustees to try to resolve a disagreement or dispute. The Charity Commission can only get involved in exceptional circumstances.

How to resolve a dispute yourself

Your charity’s governing document may include a ‘disputes clause’ with procedures for dealing with a dispute. Even if it doesn’t, you should do everything you can to reach an agreement yourselves.

When to get external help

Charity trustees and members need to work together to settle any differences they have. If your trustees can’t reach an agreement and follow the directions in your governing document, you may need to look for some independent external help.

An independent third party will look at both sides and come up with some fresh ways to resolve the dispute.

If the dispute is about the way your charity is run, you could:

  • approach the charity’s national or umbrella body, if it has one
  • contact an organisation like the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service “ACAS”
  • ask a local church leader or community elder for help, if it is a religious dispute

Mediation

Mediation is a more formal way to settle disputes. It is a private and confidential process in which an independent person meets with both sides, helping them to reach a solution that everyone finds acceptable.

Mediation can be quick and cost-effective. Through mediation, both sides must agree to any solution, so it is more likely to be a lasting agreement.

If your dispute is taken to court, you will be expected to have tried mediation first.

WHEN to involve the COMMISSION

The commission can only get involved in internal disputes when:

  • there are no trustees (or correctly appointed trustees) in place, and
  • you can show that all attempts to resolve the dispute have failed

When the commission won’t get involved

The commission will not get involved if your dispute is about trustees’ decisions or policies. Trustees are free to make decisions for their charity, so long as they are acting within the law and within the rules of the charity’s governing document.

More detailed information can be found here

ACAS Guide for New Employers

ACAS guide for new employersEmploying people – a guide for new employers

Employing people seems a perfectly straightforward matter: hire them, then set them to work, but is it so easy?

Many employers find the list of legal rights and responsibilities daunting. But complying with the law and looking after your staff will make you more efficient and more profitable.

Getting the ‘people’ part of your new business wrong could cost you time, money or lost profitability through:

  • recruiting unsuitable employees
  • inadequate training
  • low morale and motivation
  • high absence levels and turnover of employees
  • ineffective management and supervision
  • too many dismissals
  • employment tribunal claims.

You can download the guide here

Discipline and Grievance – ACAS Code of Practice

The Acas Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures gives practical guidance for handling these issues in the workplace. Failure to follow the Code doesn’t make a person or organisation liable to proceedings, however, an employment tribunal will take it into account when considering relevant cases.

Key points

  • Many potential disciplinary and grievance issues can be resolved informally.
  • Employment Tribunals are legally required to take the Acas Code of Practice into account when considering relevant cases.
  • Tribunal can adjust any awards made in relevant cases by up to 25 per cent for unreasonable failure to comply with any provisions of the code.
  • Employers and employees should always look to resolve disciplinary and grievance issues in the workplace.
  • A non-statutory guide (Discipline and grievances at work: The Acas guide) provides additional information on handling discipline and grievance solutions in the workplace.

More information and advice guides can be found here