The government guidance is being updated regularly in line with the changing situation –up to date guidance for employees, employers and businesses can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19
Claim for wages through the Job Retention Scheme.
Applications are now open on the below link including who can apply, calculators and other useful information.
If your employee undertakes training
Furloughed employees can engage in training, as long as in undertaking the training the employee does not provide services to, or generate revenue for, or on behalf of their organisation or a linked or associated organisation. Furloughed employees should be encouraged to undertake training.
Where training is undertaken by furloughed employees, at the request of their employer, they are entitled to be paid at least their appropriate national minimum wage for this time. In most cases, the furlough payment of 80% of an employee’s regular wage, up to the value of £2,500, will provide sufficient monies to cover these training hours. However, where the time spent training attracts a minimum wage entitlement in excess of the furlough payment, employers will need to pay the additional wages.
Specific employment related advice is also available from ACAS https://www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus
Specific advice for Construction sectors can be found at https://www.citb.co.uk/urgent-messages/
Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
The government will be introducing the ‘Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’. This means employers can access financial support to continue paying the wages of employees who are temporarily sent home because there’s no work. These staff are called ‘furloughed’ workers. Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.
Are apprentices entitled to statutory sick pay (SSP)?
Subject to meeting the eligibility criteria for SSP – apprentices are entitled to statutory sick pay in the same way as any other employees.
Emergency legislation is being brought forward for employees who are self-isolating because of coronavirus (COVID-19). They will be able to get SSP from the first day they are off work. This will begin from 13 March.
Details regarding the eligibility and payment of SSP can be found at https://www.gov.uk/employers-sick-pay
Can an apprentice be made redundant if there is no work?
Apprentices have the same employment rights as other employees.
Redundancy is when you dismiss an employee because you no longer need anyone to do their job. This might be because the business is:
- changing what it does
- doing things in a different way, for example using new machinery
- changing location or closing down
For a redundancy to be genuine, you must demonstrate that the employee’s job will no longer exist.
Employers cannot select apprentices for redundancy just because they are an apprentice. Employers are responsible for ensuring a fair selection process in a redundancy situation.
Further advice is available from the following websites;
Is it possible to temporarily ‘lay off’?
This will depend on the individual contractual arrangements in place.
Businesses will sometimes temporarily ‘lay off’ to deal with a short term decrease in work. This is where employees are sent home for a period of time without normal pay. Without the employee’s agreement, lay-offs are only permitted if there is a specific lay-off clause in the employee’s contract. Employees may agree to a period of lay off as an alternative to the employer making redundancies.
Further details can be found at https://www.gov.uk/lay-offs-short-timeworking
What support is available for businesses during this time?
The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary measures to support businesses through this period of disruption. Full details can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses
Please note that this is provided for general information only please check the www.gov.uk website for the latest guidance.
For advice relating to specific cases contact ACAS, the Citizens Advice Bureau or your solicitor.
ACAS Helpline 0300 123 1100 https://www.acas.org.uk/contact 0300 123 1100
Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) Adviceline: 03444 111 444