Update on Coronavirus in the Workplace

  1. It has been confirmed that people should work from home, where they can. In key public services and in all professions where home working is not possible such as construction or retail, people should continue to attend their workplaces. We should assume the new rules will stay in force for six months.

  2. It has also been announced that retail and hospitality staff will be required to wear face masks among a series of tighter restrictions designed to curb rising coronavirus infection rates.

  3. The new Job Support Scheme has been unveiled, which will require employers to give staff a minimum of 33% of their usual hours, with the Government covering some of the wages for the remaining hours not worked. The six-month scheme will start on 1 November, the day after the existing Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme comes to an end. Employers will be supported to offer staff shorter working hours in “viable jobs”, rather than make employees redundant.

    Organisations will pay staff their full rate for the hours they do work – which must be at least 33% of their contracted hours to qualify for the support – with the Government covering part of their wages for the hours there is no work for them. It means an employee working 33% of their normal hours would receive 77% of their pay, with 55% paid by the employer and 22% paid by the Government. The level of grant will be based on employees’ usual salary, capped at £697.92 per month. The employee cannot be on notice of redundancy.

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