Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Coronavirus: Employment law expert on ‘unprecedented’ times for business

Post Thumbnail

By Catriona Ramsay, Employment Law Associate, Aberdein Considine

The use of the word “unprecedented” has risen to unprecedented levels in these unprecedented times.

After a week of unprecedented steps to curb social contact, firms across almost every sector of British business are facing unprecedented cashflow challenges.

So when the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, unveiled his support package for businesses on Friday evening it could only be one thing – unprecedented.

Catriona Ramsay

More details are expected to be published today.

Employers will be able to contact HMRC for a grant to cover most of the wages of their workforce who remain on payroll, but are temporarily not working during the coronavirus outbreak.

Any employer in the country will be eligible for the scheme and the government will pay up to 80% of workers’ pay, up to a maximum of £2,500 a month.

The scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to 1st March 2020 and for at least three months going forward. No limit has been placed on the amount of money available.

However, this is not carte blanche for employers to tell staff not to come in until the virus blows over.

Employers will need to designate affected employees as furloughed workers, and notify them of this change.

They must note that changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation.

This means that, in the absence of any contractual rights to the contrary, employers would be wise to seek agreement from staff about furloughing before doing so.

They will then need to submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed, and their earnings, through a new online portal.

Concern remains for the self-employed. IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed), has warned that the government’s Coronavirus response measures leave the self-employed “trailing far behind employees”.

It has urged the government to provide better support by creating a Temporary Income Protection Fund. This should provide temporary, targeted grants to replace a proportion of the income lost by freelancers. This is where we expect to see the pressure being applied to the government this week.

In the meantime, Aberdein Considine is already helping businesses deal with the consequences of Covid-19. Our lawyers are standing by to answer questions from employers looking to use this scheme to save jobs.

Already a subscriber? Sign in