There are big challenges for small businesses in the months ahead, as they confront the obstacles of the coronavirus pandemic alongside the uncomfortable realities of systemic racism and the need to implement anti-racism measures.
Important Coronavirus Information for Employers
Flexible Furloughing (1st July 2020)
Furloughed staff are now permitted to return to work for some of the time, if paid at their normal rate.
No new employees or workers can be furloughed (other than employees returning from family leave).
The minimum furlough period of 3 weeks has been removed.
Kay’s comment: Be aware that the process for calculating and submitting flexible furlough claims is complex and requires employers to set up a new agreement with each employee.
Employers are responsible for making sure their workplaces are safe and are expected to follow 5 key points
There is also a useful guide for safe working in offices and contact centres
For those under intense financial strain, Step Change is a debt solutions charity providing free debt advice.
Anti-racism in the Workplace
Kay’s comment: All businesses regardless of size or sector need to acknowledge that workplace injustices exist, then go further and commit to doing better. Making time for productive and respectful discussions, re-evaluating core values and denouncing weak policies will be important early steps to take. For further information, I encourage you to read the CIPD Diversity Factsheet and FAQs about Race in the Workplace
Information and Consultation Changes (April 2020)
The threshold for making a valid request to set up formal information and consultation arrangements, dropped from 10% to 2% of the workforce. Information and Consultation of Employee (ICE) regulations enable employees to request an agreement to assist with the sharing of information and consultation.
Kay’s comment: There still needs to be at least 15 employees making the request and the regulation applies to businesses with 50+ employees. However, good employers should always consider giving people a meaningful forum to raise concerns and voice their opinions, particularly during times of great change and uncertainty. The CIPD has produced a useful ICE guide
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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.