Coronavirus (COVID-19): Good Practice Steps for Employers

Blog image of Acas logoACAS has provided some good practice steps for employers

Employers should consider some simple steps to make sure they continue to provide their staff and customers with a ‘duty of care’.   This means they must do all they reasonably can to support their health, safety and wellbeing.

It’s good practice for employers to:

  • make sure everyone is social distancing if they come into the workplace
  • be especially careful and take extra steps for vulnerable groups, including those who are pregnant, aged 70 or over, or who have a long-term health condition
  • hold meetings as remote calls and avoid travel as much as possible
  • 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
  • make sure everyone’s contact numbers and emergency contact details are up to date
  • keep everyone updated on actions being taken to reduce risks of exposure in the workplace
  • keep up to date with the latest government advice – see coronavirus advice on GOV.UK

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

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance for Employers, and Social Distancing Advice

Image result for coronavirusIn these very uncertain times, we thought it prudent to direct you to a few documents which are very clear, detailed and helpful for both Employers and Employees regarding Coronavirus (COVID -19)

Guidance from ACAS on the Coronavirus can be found here – this gives very clear advice for both employers and employees, and answers some difficult questions regarding sick pay, working from home and social distancing

Guidance for Employers –  this guidance from the government is updated daily, and can be found here 

Guidance on Social Distancing – can be found  here – this gives more detail of the groups who are at increased risk of severe illness from Coronavirus, and explains Social Distancing in more detail