A major challenge for businesses during the Coronavirus crisis is keeping on top of Government initiatives in relation to staff issues, as well as related amendments to legislation. To support employers, XpertHR is publishing regular resources and guidance to help them fulfil their obligations. This includes model letters that employers can tailor for their organisation.
One of the biggest announcements[i] to date has been the fact that, for the first time in history, the Government will pay people’s wages in a bid to protect jobs, through the “Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme” – a support package that will pay 80% of an employee’s wages (up to a cap).[ii]
The “Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme” enables employers to “furlough” staff where they cannot provide them with any work. They can continue to pay furloughed staff through funding from the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. This may require asking employees to agree to the 20% pay decrease that is permitted under the scheme.
Jo Stubbs, XpertHR’s global head of product content strategy says, “During the coronavirus crisis, there are whole range of issues that employers are having to get to grips with very quickly, one of which is the Government’s furlough scheme.
“The furlough scheme is designed to encourage employers to keep their staff and avoid redundancies where possible. It’s important that employers understand that normal employment laws continue to apply and, unless employers have a contractual right to lay their employees off during periods when there is no work available, they will need their agreement to place them on furlough.
“As the coronavirus situation evolves, we are rapidly extending the range of model letters we have available on XpertHR for businesses, helping them save time drafting these during this difficult period.”
In relation to the “Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme”, XpertHR’s model letters include one for employers to use to withdraw notice of redundancy and put employees on the Government’s “furlough scheme” instead, a letter explaining how the scheme will work and a letter seeking an employee’s agreement to be furloughed.
Other model letters include:
- Guidance to staff about coronavirus, including advice for staying at home; social distancing; the introduction of the NHS 111 “isolation note” and “self-shielding” for the extremely vulnerable
- A letter informing employees of a pay freeze
- A letter withdrawing a new recruit’s job offer because of the coronavirus outbreak
To access all XpertHR’s model letters relating to coronavirus please click here.
To view the full range of new and updated XpertHR content on coronarvirus, including the answers to employers’ FAQs on the subject, please click here.
For more information on XpertHR visit: www.xperthr.co.uk