A local employment lawyer has commented on the budget announced on Wednesday 11th March 2020.
Jonathan Lilley, employment lawyer at Blaser Mills Law, said:
‘With predictions that 20% of workers could be off work at one time in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the funding the chancellor has announced to support employers and the self-employed affected is a significant development for UK business.
A new temporary coronavirus business interruption loan scheme of up to £1.2million has been announced to support small businesses, helping them to overcome any negative impact on productivity and workforce.
For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the government will refund the cost of providing statutory sick pay for up to 14 days for any employees ill with coronavirus – a crucial change for employers to be aware of.
Finally, statutory sick pay will now also be available for those advised to self-isolate even if they haven’t displayed symptoms of coronavirus, and employees will be able to obtain a sick note by dialling 111 instead of attending surgery.
With all of these things in mind, it is essential that employers think ahead. They must plan carefully for the potential that at least a significant number of their workforce may have difficulty getting to their normal place of work, either through illness or, more likely, the effects of self-isolation and/or the knock-on effects of possible school closures etc.
Employers should conduct staff surveys to stay informed and determine who might be at risk, and should assess employees’ ability to work remotely by taking into consideration their IT setup at home and checking the home-working policies already in place, if any. They need to encourage a good flow of communication both ways, which will demonstrate to staff that they are engaged and prepared to meet the challenges that coronavirus presents, not just to health but to the stability and function of their business. The key to managing this issue is to keep the business running as much as possible, and limit the incidence of sick pay as much as is practical (and all of the possible disputes that may arise), welcome though these measures are.‘
Blaser Mills Law is a full service law firm, offering a comprehensive range of legal services to businesses and private individuals throughout the UK and overseas.
Further information on Blaser Mills Law can be found on their website at https://www.blasermills.co.uk.
*Source of article : Press release on behalf of Blaser Mills Law.