Government measures intended to reduce health risks during the coronavirus pandemic add a new layer of complexity to employers' health and safety responsibilities. Louis Wustemann examines what employers need to do to remain compliant.
Many organisations moved to large-scale homeworking overnight when coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown arrangements were introduced. But as governments ease restrictions, some are now actively considering whether or not the arrangements could be made permanent.
A lack of definitive guidance, and the potentially serious consequences of inadvertently asking a furloughed employee to work, means that many employers are still uncertain about what amounts to working under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Jo Broadbent, Counsel Knowledge Lawyer at Hogan Lovells, provides legal and practical guidance on the issues that employers need to consider.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has already paid out more than £15 billion in grants. Given the sums involved, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) recognises there is potential for fraud - and has seen around 800 reports of fraudulent applications. Graham Brown reports on the consequences for unscrupulous employers.
With many people either working from home or furloughed for the past two months, there has been much discussion about the impact of lockdown on employees' mental health, but what about the effect on their physical health and what could this mean for the return to work?
With employers required to top up furloughed employees' pay for any annual leave they take, many will be anxious to avoid this extra expense at the current time. However, the result could be a glut of holiday requests towards the end of the leave year. Consultant editor Darren Newman looks at how the coronavirus amendments to the Working Time Regulations may help employers facing this situation.
Lockdown has presented difficulties for companies involved in internal investigations, dealing with whistleblowers, grievance claims and disciplinary processes. Ivor Adair examines the latest Acas guidance on the subject and explains the key issues and solutions.
Although guidance on the next phases of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is not expected until later this month, employers need to start planning what their workforces will look like now, writes Mark Kaye.
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