Posted: 30 March, 2020 at 1:00 pm

Workplace rights during Coronavirus

I’ve received many enquiries from local constituents who are still going to work but are very worried that their employers – big and small – are continuing to operate as normal but not doing enough to protect their workers.

Employers who fail to implement the Government’s guidance are undermining the national effort to beat the Coronavirus crisis and putting at risk the health of individual workers and their families. I’ve now taken the step of writing directly to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson to lay out these concerns and press for Government action to ensure all employers are protecting their workforce. You can read my letter here.

In the meantime, I have provided below links and information to the different Government guidance – from advice on social distancing in the workplace to Statutory Sick Pay.

Accurate as of 30 March 2020

Acas helpline

Acas helpline for employees and employers – 0330 123 1100

Acas practical information on coronavirus on their website is reviewed daily to give information and advice on self-isolating, pay, financial support for businesses, time off and remote working.

Trade Unions

Contact your trade union or their parent body, the Trade Union Congress, for help and advice about workplace rights.

https://www.tuc.org.uk/join-union

Guidance for employers on social distancing

The Government has provided the following guidance for employers and business on coronavirus:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/guidance-for-employers-and-businesses-on-coronavirus-covid-19

Statutory sick pay

HMRC Employees Helpline – 0300 200 3500

Check if you can get statutory sick pay (SSP)

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

You may have heard about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and “furlough” workers. It’s been set up to support businesses with workers who cannot work from home and to help avoid redundancies at these companies. You can read details about which workers are eligible and what employers need to do to, here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme#employees-you-can-claim-for

Stay at home guidance – which are the businesses which must close?

This document provides guidance on the closure of all the business and venues that have been told to close. Any businesses not on this list may still operate as the Government has not yet ordered the closure of all non-essential work.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/874732/230320_-_Revised_guidance_note_-_finalVF.pdf

Sick notes for self-isolation

If you need evidence to provide to your employer, you can get an isolation note from NHS 111 online and those that are living with someone displaying symptoms can get a note from the NHS website.

In an effort to keep the virus contained, those with symptoms should not visit their GP in person. It’s up to the discretion of employers to decide if they require evidence for their employees staying home.