We have been asked recently can I check my employees COVID or vaccination status? First, you must be clear about what you are trying to achieve. By asking for an employee’s COVID status and how asking people for their COVID status helps to achieve this in your organisation. A person’s COVID status is special category data, as it is their private health information. Therefore, your use of this data must be fair, relevant and necessary for a specific purpose. Residents of England can now show their COVID status through use of the NHS COVID Pass. COVID status shows a person’s risk of transmitting COVID-19 and is based on vaccine and test data. People in England with a low risk of transmission can get a COVID Pass through the NHS App, 119 service or online. Residents of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can use other means of indicating their COVID status, should they need to. Data protection is only one of many factors to consider when thinking about implementing COVID status checks. You should take into account: employment law and your contracts with employees (if you are considering checking employees’ COVID status); health and safety requirements; and equalities and human rights, […]
It would be fair to say that 2020 has been a challenging year, but we are not out of the woods yet. 2021 is likely to be almost as much of a challenge. Covid, Brexit, a potential recession, and the decimation of some industries will mean 2021 has some pretty unique HR challenges. Being forewarned is being forearmed, as they say, so we have compiled a list of the challenges we can look forward to meeting next year.
Since the pandemic hit the UK earlier this year many employees have worked from home and it seems some employers have found issues with home working. Here is a guide to home working and how we can make these issues easier. It now seems it will be a long time before everything returns to normal. Therefore, employees may be required to work from home more often. Even if your employees have worked from home before, they might not have spent such a long time away from their colleagues. In one sense, we’re all in it together, but in another sense, it’s a different experience for everyone. Having additional responsibilities, such as childcare, or losing out on chances to socialise might be starting to affect your employees. What are the Advantages? Besides preventing employees from catching the coronavirus and passing it on to others by social distancing, home working creates a more flexible schedule, the ability to work from any location, and no more commuting were the top reported benefits The cost savings associated with remote work may win over many companies. As well, switching to virtual meets in some instances can also be a significant cost savings. Employers and employees […]
What does the Job Support Scheme really mean for employers? Having read the detail of Chancellor’s announcement yesterday we’ve put together the main points for your information. The Job Support Scheme is potentially not as helpful to employers as it first sounded. The main pointers of the scheme are The government have said that further guidance “will be published shortly”· The Scheme opens on 1 November 2020 and closes in April 2021 (no specific date given)· You can use this Scheme even if you as the employer or the employee concerned have not previously used the furlough scheme (Job Retention Scheme)· The Scheme is only open to those businesses where turnover is lower now than before experiencing difficulties from COVID19· Employees must have been on your payroll on or before 23 September 2020 (so a Real Time Information (RTI) submission must have been made before 23 September 2020.· Employees will be paid for 77% of their contracted hours· The Government will pay a third of the hours not worked by an employee up to a cap of £697.92 per month· […]
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was set up to enable businesses to retain staff during the Coronavirus Pandemic. Now, as lockdown lifts slightly, many employers are asking if they can take employees off furlough. For many businesses that were either forced to close or suffered financial hardship, the Job Retention Scheme has been a lifeline. For many individuals, it has ensured they can continue to put food on the table and pay their bills. Many businesses owners are now thinking of getting their business back on track. For some that might mean moving back into their premises. For others, it might be marketing their business to get new customers. Either way, many employers are wondering if they can take employees off furlough and how that might impact their grant. In this article, we will look at how you can bring your employees off furlough without breaking the rules of the Job Retention Scheme or compromising the health of your staff and customers. How Do I Bring Staff Back Off Furlough? If you are ready to bring your staff back off furlough you should first be sure the working environment will be safe. If they are going to work from home […]
Many employers are wracking their brains at the moment to work out what alternatives are there to redundancies. With the current COVID pandemic and the economic crisis that it’s created there’s a need to review costs. The knee-jerk reaction is often to consider job cuts rather than considering what alternatives are there to redundancies? Redundancies aren’t a cheap option. If you make mistakes in the way you handle redundancies, they can prove expensive if you lose tribunal claims. The cost that’s not as easy to quantify is the loss of valuable skills and experience that you’ve invested in. These very skills and experience are what allows your business to bounce back more easily. There’s also an odd impact of redundancy. Those remaining in the business can experience a level of guilt because they are still in a job but their friends aren’t. So here are six alternatives to redundancies that may be worth considering Changing terms and conditions Not without risk. An obvious way to reduce business costs without making people redundant is to change employees’ contractual terms and conditions. For example, an across-the-board pay cut. You must remember that working hours and rates of pay are express terms of […]
As the Coronavirus Pandemic continues, businesses who were previously shut are now wondering ‘can my employees work from home?’ Or, businesses who have been home working for several weeks are now reconsidering whether they need an office at all or if they can make working from home a more permanent arrangement. Your staff may be able to work from home if that suits your business need, but there are some things that need to be considered beforehand to protect you and them; not least of which is they work from home regularly that may become their place of work rather than the office. This might mean you have to pay them an allowance for using their home as a place of work. At Metis HR, we are employer-focused HR outsourcing and advice specialists. We often help businesses through periods of change and uncertainty. Read on to find out how to get the most out of your employees working from home. How Do I Implement Working From Home? Whether you are considering staff working from home or are deciding to make it more permanent or regular, you should follow a process. Deciding where you want your staff to work isn’t as […]
The area of holidays and furlough is still unclear. Government guidance doesn’t specifically address what happens with holidays and furlough. So what do you do if you’re asked by an employee? Does annual leave accrue during furlough? Yes, employment rights continue including the right to accrue leave. Can you make an employee take annual leave during furlough? We don’t know the answer to this because the Government haven’t answered the question. In all other areas of leave it isn’t possible for someone to have two statuses eg you can’t be on holiday and off sick, you can’t be at work and on holiday. On that basis we are finding it difficult to imagine that we will be able to put people on leave when on furlough. If you want to put people on leave whilst they are on furlough, the least you should do is pay them 100% of their normal pay give them the required notice to take leave If an employee has pre-booked holiday and now wants to cancel do I have to agree? No you don’t have to agree to this, but, see above, we think that you should pay them 100%. The legislation around carry over […]