• Time off for Dependents – Employees may request a period of “Time off for dependants”, although this is usually only a few days to make alternative arrangements, however in the current Covid-19 crisis it may be reasonable to allow a longer period.  Time off is usually unpaid unless your policy includes any paid leave.
  • Shielding – On 16th April the government guidance added that SSP could be taken by employees who are “shielding”.  Shielding employees are also eligible to be furloughed.  Due to this announcement, employees were most likely to be furloughed already, however, if the furlough scheme ends “shielding” employees may wish to receive SSP for any remaining period of “shielding” as notified by the government.
  • Working from Home – There is the potential for employees to work for home for an extended period due to social distancing. Employers need to consider any implications with regards to this: equipment, workstation set-up etc.
  • Compassionate Leave – Consider being temporarily flexible regarding your compassionate leave policy. Employees may need time off in the future for remembrance services due to current social distancing at funerals.
  • Life assurance – check any eligible employees have up to date beneficiaries.

Health & Safety:

  • Antibody Test – Some employees may not wish to return unless that have had an antibody test that proves they have had Covid-19. (there is currently no medical evidence yet re. potential immunity)
  • Vaccination – Some employees may not be willing to return to the workplace unless they have been vaccinated (especially vulnerable/shielding employees due to their health and safety). Employers need to discuss their employee’s options – if they are unable to carry out their job role at home, agree a period of unpaid leave or sabbatical, potential to suspend benefits if agreed in writing.
  • Masks – The Government may make it enforceable for people to wear masks outside their home.
  • Restructured Working Arrangements – The need to restructure working arrangements when employees return from working from home or furlough to allow for social distancing, new team structures.
  • Managing New Team Arrangements – How to manage who continues working from home, this may depend on the capacity of work available or the need for people to return to the workplace.  Awaiting government guidance.  There may be the option of possible rotation of employees to ensure employees are not isolated or losing skills.
  • Onboarding – Need for onboarding of employees returning to the workplace, due to changes in working practices/duties/environment.
  • Workplace Hygiene – New arrangements to ensure workplaces are cleaned regularly and to a standard of hygiene that ensure employees are not placed at risk of contracting COVID-19.
  • Business Analysis – Complete some analysis of what the “new normal” will look like for the organisation and how to implement changes, involve key staff if possible and ask for employee feedback where time allows.

If you have any questions regarding any of the information above, please email us here.