The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

Dealing with your business’ obligations following the outbreak of COVID 19 and the rapidly evolving situation leaves employers sailing in uncharted waters. There is significant disruption to normal working patterns. In deciding how to respond to any given situation involving COVID-19, there are different legal aspects to be considered.

There may be questions regarding furloughing, the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, short time working, lay off and/or redundancy. Your business may have to deal with circumstances involving some of the following:

• time off for working parents with childcare responsibilities whose child’s school has been closed
• the legal implications of employees working from home and the health and safety issues to consider
• what approach to adopt towards those working as a skeleton staff due to the absence of others for reasons surrounding COVID-19
• dealing with casual staff if your business is closed
• supporting pregnant employees and self-employed contractors
• pay for employees who are self-isolating following medical advice or of their own volition
• sick pay for employees who have or are suspected to have COVID-19 and absence management procedures
• duties of privacy and safety concerning other employees if an employee has or is suspected to have COVID-19
• employees wishing to cancel annual leave due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Legal advice should be sought to address specific circumstances. We are here to help if you need our services.

Information on COVID-19 is changing on a daily basis and the first port of call for public health guidance should be Public Health England.