This Friday: the deadline for claiming June’s furlough money

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We wanted to remind you that this Friday 31st July is the deadline for claiming June’s furlough money. In this article, our partner Nicky Gleadow at The HR Point also brings you an update on some key current HR issues such as returning to work, well-being and quarantining after holidays…

We are one month into flexible furlough and hopefully that is working well for your business.  There are no major new changes but you should be aware of the following key things:

  1. The deadline for claiming June’s furlough is 31st July
  2. From 1 August employers have to pay any National Insurance and pension contributions due for furlough leave

Here are some other key updates:

Returning to work and health and safety

There are many people still on furlough or working from home, and as furlough comes to an end and Boris Johnson wants people to return to work there is a lot to consider.

When people started working from home HSE said the normal process of risk assessments was not required, but the long this goes on the more important it is that these are considered.

What you need to do:

  1. You need a COVID risk assessment to show how you are planning on mitigating the risks and keeping people as safe as possible
  2. Talk to your people about their return to work – how do they feel about it, do they have any medical reasons to not return, do they have childcare issues to consider?
  3. Do risk assessments for people working from home
  4. If you want people to carry on working from home talk to them, how are they finding it, do they need any equipment etc.

Well-being

The whole situation has been incredibly difficult for businesses and employees, many who have juggled working from home with home schooling and all the stress of living through a pandemic.  Now more than ever looking after your employees mental health is vital.

The HR Point work with Investors in People who have launched a COVID Wellbeing Survey, which you can use to find out how your people feel and how you might be able to support them better – for business with under 50 employees the survey is free!!  And only £199 plus VAT for businesses with up to 250 employees. If MIA Members would like to make use of this or find out more please contact Nicky Gleadow on the dedicated MIA email address – mia@thehrpoint.co.uk

Quarantine

As you will be aware, the Government has a list of countries where people arriving into the UK do not have to quarantine, and for those arriving from anywhere else people have to quarantine for 14 days. This weekend the Government moved Spain from the non-quarantine list to the quarantine list – this means if you have any employees on holiday in Spain they will need to quarantine for 14 days.

If they can work from home then that is fine BUT if they can not they are not entitled to pay or SSP for this time and you can make them take it as unpaid leave.

The Government indicated the requirements to quarantine or not will be constantly reviewed and this means that other countries may be deemed high risk and require quarantine.

We recommend you make employees aware of this and make sure you know where they are going on holiday so you can plan if anything changes.

Redundancy

We know some business are going to have to look at redundancies – The HR Point can help MIA Members. Regardless of numbers and length of service you should go through a consultation – even if just one person.  Individual consultation is sufficient if under 20 redundancies are being contemplated – if over 20 then you need to enter into collective consultation.  Please speak to The HR Point for advice and guidance so we can help you make sure you follow a fair process and are not at risk of losing a tribunal claim.

Don’t forget about our FREE service for Members with Nicky Gleadow of The HR Point – www.mia.org.uk/support-for-our-industry-through-the-virus-crisis– please remember to use this if you need it!

mia@thehrpoint.co.uk