Latest HR News and updates on Covid-19, Right to Work checks, Flexible Working and Inclusion
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Check out information on the Black History Month website to help create a bank of resources and reading for you and your staff for October and beyond.
Also, there is now a further extension to the Kickstart Scheme which will run until March 2022 and apprenticeship incentive payments will be available until the end of January 2022.
Important Covid-19 Information for Employers
Covid Response – Autumn and Winter Plan (Sept 2021)
The government’s current A Plan states that employees must not be allowed to come to work if they are required to self-isolate; they should stay at home if they are feeling unwell; hand sanitizer should be provided and regularly touched surfaces should be cleaned; employers should ensure adequate ventilation; the NHS QR code should be provided for customers and the NHS Covid pass should be considered. If the NHS was to come under unsustainable pressure from Covid-19, then the B Plan could be activated and would most likely include a return to working from home, alongside legally mandated face coverings and mandatory vaccine-only covid-status in some settings.
Kay’s comment: Keep updated by bookmarking: Check Working Safely During Coronavirus which provides the latest information.
The government has urged all organisations to proactively encourage their employees and workers to be vaccinated. There is a useful toolkit available from Public Health England with a variety of resources for businesses to use, including an Employer’s Briefing Sheet and Q&A information sheet.
Kay’s comment: From 11th November 2021, anyone working or volunteering in a registered care home will need to be fully vaccinated against coronavirus unless exempt. There is no requirement for the clinical reason for exemption to be recorded.
Job Retention Scheme (30th Sept 2021)
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has now ended, but organisations have until 14th October 2021 to submit their last claims and make any amendments by 28th October 2021.
Right to Work Checks (5th April 2022 extension)
A further extension was made by the Home Office to permit remote right to work checks on individuals including video calls and photographed or scanned documents via email or a mobile app, rather than sending original documents. In addition, retrospective person checks will not be required for those recruited between 30th March 2020 and 5th April 2022.
Flexible Working Consultation (23rd Sept 2021)
The government has launched its long-awaited consultation regarding making flexible working requests a ‘day one’ right and includes other possible reforms such as allowing changes to be temporary rather than permanent and requiring employers to suggest alternatives if they reject the employee’s request. The consultation period closes on 1st December 2021.
Kay’s comment: This is a good opportunity for smaller business owners to input to the process – further information is available here: Making Flexible Working the Default.
Small Business Inclusion: check out my latest article for useful links from National Inclusion Week
Adaptability: useful information from Unilever’s Wellbeing Healthy Habits Series
“in difficult situations a good tip is to ask yourself what ‘lens’ you are looking through and mentally change the lens to get a different perspective.”
Please Note: The information contained in this newsletter is provided for your general use only. It should not be treated as a substitute for obtaining professional employment advice on specific issues.