Despite the political football peppering the UK with ongoing changes daily, we all need to start thinking about how we can adjust our old ways of working to make our working environment safer to staff, visitors and customers.
Social distancing measures are likely to continue well into 2021, so what do you, as an Employer, need to start thinking about now?
Employers have a number of common law and statutory duties in relation to health and safety at work, and a starting point will be for all Employers to familiarise themselves with the latest HSE guidance and Government guidance. Detailed guidance has been released for 8 over-branching industries which is a good place to start - you can find those guidelines here:
As we know "furlough" has become the current buzzword, having never been previously heard of in the UK and with current figures stating that 25% of the UK workforce has been furloughed - a lot of us have invested in the Scheme.
The Scheme - as we know - is a grant, not a loan, and there is no debt associated. However, there are potentially some hidden stingers in the Scheme that Employer needs to be aware of.
Part of the deal you agree to when signing up for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is that you, as the Employer, agree with your Employee that they will cease all work when on furlough leave - not just "revenue earning" or "providing non-revenue services". This is where the problems could lie for businesses.
Employers are required to retain records for all Employees that have been put on furlough leave for a period of 5 years. This is to give the HMRC a significant period of time to review all applications made for the Scheme to make sure there has been no abuse of the Scheme.