We would like to reassure all our clients and contacts that we are here to help – and will remain committed to providing you with the best possible service at this challenging time.
PJH Law is following government advice. Our business contingency plan is operational and is robust. We are open for business and are able to advise on your situation. Our working practices are flexible and allow easy engagement on a non-face-to-face basis.
Our teams are working and remain fully accessible by telephone, email and appointments can be made via the phone, Skype, or Zoom. Your choice. We will continue to support you in our usual dedicated and proactive way.
The immediate impact
The Coronavirus virus has temporarily enforced shutdown of businesses in the UK. The government have to make major changes to the benefits system to support those who are unable to work.
Employees and the self-employed who have lost work are being supported, as are people who are unable to work because they have the virus. Below PJH Law has put together some immediate facts to the questions being asked. Please appreciate this is a moving feast and we will keep the information updated as regularly as we are able, and as always, take a pragmatic approach to a fast-moving situation!
I’m an employee and I’ve been sent home on furlough
If you are an employee and your employer has told you they will pay you as usual, at least for the next few weeks. If you are in that position and you do not usually receive any benefits then at this time you will not need to make a claim.
Other employers are not in a position to meet the ongoing salary costs themselves and so the government has advised that PAYE workers will be covered by the government’s pledge to cover 80% of wages. This will be claimed by your employer and distributed to staff, so you will not need to do anything yourself. And it’s up to your employers to decide whether to make up the difference.
The furlough payments will last up to three months and will be backdated to 1 March 2020.
For more information about the Job Retention scheme please see HMRC COVID-19: guidance for employee details.
If you would like to see a snapshot of some of the key terms being used by employers at this time please see our recent blog article.
I’m not at work because I had to self-isolate
You should be eligible for sick pay. If you are an employee check to see if your employer has a scheme that is more generous than that offered by the government. If it does, it should pay you that.
Otherwise, you are entitled to statutory sick pay. The payment is worth £94.25 a week and is paid for up to 28 weeks.
The rules have also been changed so that statutory sick pay can be claimed from day one rather than day four as previously.
For more information https://www.gov.uk/statutory-sick-pay
I have a zero-hours contract and have been sent home
You should qualify to be furloughed based on your average weekly pay over a number of weeks.
I’ve been made redundant
The Job Retention Scheme from the government is designed to stop people from losing their jobs. By covering 80% of employees pay, the government hopes firms will keep positions open so that as many people as possible can return to work.
If your employer decided to make you redundant, there are rules they need to meet and uphold your usual rights not to be unfairly dismissed or discriminated against. If your employer does not have their own policy and you have worked for your current employer for at least two years, you will be entitled to:
- Half a week’s pay for each full year you were under 22
- One week’s pay for each full year you were 22 or older, but under 41
- One and half week’s pay for each full year you were 41 or older
The above payments are capped. For more advice on COVID-19 OR any kind of employment law issue, please complete our fast track enquiry form, request a call-back or call our employment solicitors on 01780 757 589.