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Employment law questions during COVID-19 pandemic

Posted on 25 March 2020

The many questions on the effects of COVID-19 on employment law

Posted in Advice

Everyone has an enormous list of questions about employment law during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lay-off was rarely used and furlough was an unknown.

With the employment situation happening so fast, we've compiled a list of questions you may be needing the answer to.

During the COVID-19 pandemic:

What are the changes if any to SSP?

Is a self-isolating vulnerable employee entitled to company sick pay?

Lay-offs during COVID-19:

Can you impose a lay-off clause?

Is laying staff off a breach of trust and confidence if furlough leave is available?

How does the deemed statutory redundancy notice and counter-notice system work?

Furlough leave during COVID-19:

Can you force an employee to take furlough leave?

Does the 80% include pension and employer's NICs?

Can an employer rotate furlough leave amongst staff, and can employees dip in and out of it?

Is it a breach of trust and confidence if the employer does not 'top up' the extra 20%?

Will it be unfair if an employer makes someone redundant rather than placing them on furlough leave?

How do you deal with employees who object to their colleagues getting 80% of pay on furlough leave when they still have to work?

How is salary calculated for those with irregular earnings?

Can employees on long-term sick announce they want to return to work, to take advantage of the Furlough leave scheme?

What is the scope for fraud (eg an employer suddenly employing family members, or increasing the entire workforce's salary for 3 months while the government is paying)?

Emergency Volunteering Leave during COVID-19:

Who can (and can't) take Emergency Volunteering Leave?

What is the procedure for taking Emergency Volunteering Leave? How long can it last?

What employment protection will emergency volunteers have?

How much must the employer pay employees while they're on emergency leave?

Miscellaneous issues regarding employment law during COVID-19:

How do zero-hour workers and agency staff fit into all this?

Paul Grindley is an experienced employment solicitor. He is working safely at home and is happy to take your queries via email or call 0113 320 5000