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Archive for the ‘absence’ Category

What are the rules about self-isolation and pay?

In absence, covid-19, pay, Uncategorized on September 27, 2021 at 10:42 am

Sick pay for self-isolation

Staff must be paid at least Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if they cannot work because they’re self-isolating for any of the following reasons:

  • they have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or have tested positive
  • they are not fully vaccinated and someone in their household has symptoms or has tested positive
  • they are told to self-isolate by an NHS test and trace service
  • they have been advised by their doctor to stay at home before going into hospital for surgery

To be eligible for SSP, they must be off work for at least 4 days in a row, including any of their usual non-working days.

They’re entitled to be paid at least SSP for every day they’re off work. This is different to the usual rules for SSP where the first 3 days are unpaid waiting days.

Pay for self-isolating or quarantine after travel

Employees are not entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if they’re in self-isolation or in quarantine after travel abroad in circumstances where they cannot work from home. But the employer could choose to make up their pay if they wanted to.

Managing Holidays

In absence, contracts, holiday, Uncategorized on September 27, 2021 at 10:38 am

Holiday management is often overlooked, and the end of the holiday year brings a raft of requests from employees trying to use their holiday up or risk losing it. This year has also been made somewhat more complex with furlough leave and the government allowing the right to carry over the first four weeks of annual leave into the next two leave years; this applies where it was not reasonably practicable for the leave to be taken.

You should ensure that an employee is able to take as much of their leave as possible in the year to which it relates. Ideally you should keep a track on how much leave all of your staff have left to take at regular intervals throughout the leave year and remind them that they should book their leave otherwise they may lose it.

You can also require employees to take leave on dates that are convenient for you. Again, this can either be set out in the written contract of employment e.g. an annual shutdown or at other times during the year. However, if dates are not stipulated in the contract you must give employees notice which is equal to twice the length of the leave in question e.g. a minimum two weeks’ notice for one week’s leave. Many employers did do this during periods of furlough leave to ensure holidays were being taken and a problem was not building up.

Now is a good time to remind employees to book any remaining holiday to help ensure you do not have to refuse requests or allow carry over to another holiday year.

Next year also brings an additional bank holiday to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee on Friday 3 June. Additionally, May Day will be moved to Thursday 2 June, in effect creating a four-day weekend for the event. 

Whether employers will need to permit staff to take this day will depend upon their contract of employment and if you need any assistance with this, please contact your consultant.

Holiday Travel

In absence, covid-19, holiday, Uncategorized on September 1, 2021 at 9:12 am
Before lockdown in March 2020, travelling outside the UK was the focus of attention. Transnational movement was effectively banned as flights were stopped through China, wider Asia and then Italy and France. The rest is history.

Whilst the UK government is seeking to open up the economy and travel, holidaymakers are finding themselves facing complicated rules for traveling to each individual destination.  

Travelling abroad remains in a state of flux at this time. More areas have recently been added to the Green list, many foreign countries have their own changing arrangements for testing and quarantining making forward planning difficult. The travel list is reviewed every 3 weeks, with the next update due to be announced on Weds 25th August. The government list for entry to England can be found here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/red-amber-and-green-list-rules-for-entering-england
 
The costs for PCR testing have been under the spotlight in the last week and these will now be reduced.
 
Employers are finding complex travel arrangements leading to lots of uncertainty, cancellation, disruption and pleadings for every case to be treated on its merits.
 
This is an unprecedented situation. We suggest, where possible, discussing holiday arrangements in good time. Most holiday needs to be prebooked and authorised in advance.
 
Consider:
– The likelihood of cancellation, holiday leave still needs to be taken.
– The possible need for isolation on return, extended unpaid leave?
– Is there an assumption that returning isolation will be “worked from home” – is this OK or will this amount to
unauthorised leave, or be authorised as unpaid leave?
– Amending previous holiday rules to allow extended leave (if this works for all concerned)
– Objections from other work colleagues to overseas travel to high-risk areas  

Key Action Point:
Discuss holiday plans in advance, consider the impact of returning isolation and be prepared for requests to be flexible. Handle all cases as fairly as possible.

Coronavirus – Advice for employers

In absence, Employment law, government, pay, Uncategorized on March 4, 2020 at 1:38 pm

For our most up to date information see our webpage – https://www.robbryanassociates.org.uk/2020/03/12/coronavirus/

With the government preparing for widespread cases of the coronavirus(Covid-19), employers should monitor the official advice to maintain an up to date picture of the situation and best protect the health and safety of their staff.

Where can I find the official advice?
Government list of guidance
Government advice for businesses
NHS advice
Government action plan

What can employers do to minimise the risk in the workplace?
ACAS has produced a useful guide providing practical advice to help employers protect their staff. Good hygiene is key to preventing the spread of infection.
We suggest that you print the NHS guide out and pin to your noticeboard or another prominent place. You should also issue regular memos to circulate the latest official advice.
The government guide has advice for what do if someone in the workplace falls ill with symptoms linked to the virus or is diagnosed.
Employers should prepare an action plan which is ready to be put in place should there be an outbreak of the virus at work.

Sick Pay
If an employee has coronavirus:
Your usual sickness procedure and entitlement apply.

If an employee is advised to self-isolate:
If the employee has been advised by NHS111 or a doctor to self-isolate they should inform their employer immediately. If they are given written notice they are entitled to sick pay. The latest legal advice as of yesterday is that isolation without the illness does not qualify for SSP – although many are saying it would be good practice to pay. The Trade unions and others are seeking specific emergency laws to have a sick pay fund for those who wouldn’t normally be paid – they argue without this people will be motivated to attend the workplace with symptoms.
Some employees will be able to work from home while in isolation.

Latest news update Workers to get SSP from first day off https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-51738837 (NB: this is the government’s intention – we await further detail)

Working from home
At present, there is no advice for workers to avoid travel in the UK but employers may want to consider in advance what provision there may be for working at home.

Travel abroad
As and when the virus becomes widespread, in some places travel and movements are likely to be more restricted.
If travel is for business purposes, consider if the meeting could take place via video conferencing instead.
If an employee is travelling for leisure we advise you to discuss with the employee their plans and pose the question regarding returning and self-isolation. You can agree in advance that should they need to self-isolate it would be unpaid authorised absence. It’s then an elective choice to go on holiday taking a risk or to cancel.

Changes to sick pay rules from April 2019

In absence, Employment law, Uncategorized on April 11, 2019 at 12:27 pm

As of 6th April 2019 entitlement to sick pay is changing. The amount employees need to earn in order for Statutory Sick Pay to apply is rising from £116 per week to £118. The rate of pay will also increase by £2.20 to £94.25 per week.

As before employees need to have been off work sick for 4 or more days in a row (including non-working days) to qualify and SSP can be paid for up to 28 weeks.

 

If you would like guidance on managing absence in your workplace, contact us at Rob Bryan Associates Limited Main Office: 01462 732444  www.robbryanassociates.org.uk