Coronavirus: Your workplace questions

Steve Bridger

| 0 Posts

Community Manager

26 Mar, 2020 16:59

At this difficult time, we'd like to offer people managers (and others) who are not CIPD Members an opportunity to ask questions about their specific workplace challenges.

We hope that collectively, the Community will feel able to chip in with guidance and signpost support and resources where these exist.

Thank you. 

  • Hi All,

    I am on a 12 month contract which finishes on 3rd June 2020. I have been on furlough since April but have been told that due to the virus, and the subsequent tailing off of business, my company are unable to renew my contract.

    I have two senior partners and one of them is eager for me to be rehired (possibly on a rolling monthly basis) for the next four months, as per the extended Job Retention Scheme, as it will give me a safety net as I look for other work. However, my other senior partner is cautious (as ever) and is unsure if they are legally able to keep me on and simply put me on furlough until October and then cancel any contract that is in place.

    I am currently trying to provide them with details and evidence that they are not obliged to take me back on, but they are being encourage by the government to keep me in employment, rather than becoming another Universal Credit statistic. Does anyone have any links or advice that I can send on to them to help my case please?

    Many thanks in advance.
  • In reply to Paul:

    I have this situation for one of our employees and will allow the fixed term contract to end mid month and will then switch the person to a zero hours contract. They will still be eligible for furlough pay as it is based on Feb pay, but won’t accrue holiday entitlement as they have no contracted hours plus the break in service of more than a week removes entitlements that come with 2 years service plus reducing their notice period to a week. At the end of the scheme it’s easy to end the arrangement plus everyone is clear as to the reasons in the first place.
  • In reply to Paul:

    welcome to the communities. As you have less than 12 months service and unfair dismissal protection doesn't kick in till you achieve 2 years service then there is relatively little risk to your employer. Your employer should however be aware that the full funding of the JRS isn't guaranteed and its likely they will be expected to shoulder more of the cost fairly soon.

    The danger is that you have continuous service (and even a gap and a FTC doesn't necessarily stop this if the agreement was in place prior to the gap) and accrue holiday pay etc. The continuous service issue is unlikely to be a significant one for some time.

    As to if this is the Governments intention - well at times it appeared to be (as you say to slow down rise in UC claims) but hard to say now what their view is as they were somewhat surprised by numbers on scheme.

    Good luck
  • Hi, can anyone advise what to do if an employee has been ordered to wear a surgical face mask all day but they work in an office at a hospital in an admin role? They have claustrophobia and tried a mask on but panicked and could not breathe. Would she be allowed exemption for medical reasons, or be able to wear a clear visor as a compromise, or will they use it as grounds to sack her as the government has decided all staff have to wear surgical masks.
  • Dear employers, I'm interested to know what equipment organisations have purchased for their employees to work from home safely. Chairs, monitors, desks, all of the above? Or have you just met any reasonable request?
  • In reply to Melanie Davies:

    Hi Melanie we have carried out home working risk assessments first and allowed people to pick up their chairs from the office and IT have assisted with anything further.
  • Hello, I'd like some advice for a relative. She's a speech & language therapy assistant working for the NHS in the schools community and was redeployed to work as a healthcare assistant on a mixed covid/non-covid ward. She found out through a colleague that they are all returning to their normal roles apart from herself and another colleague. She's asked to know how and why the decision was made but no one has responded, or when she will be able to return to her usual role. They were also promised a pay rise which didn't materialise so she's feeling understandably disheartened. It's very difficult to find information from the employee's point of view, but is she able to refuse to continue with the redeployment? Many thanks.
  • We have issued the HR 1 form but now thankfully in the position not to progress redundancies is there a process for withdrawing the HR1 form please?
  • I am curious to see how other HR professionals are dealing with holiday carry over? I just joined a company and the holiday is due to reset in January and noticed a lot of employees have over 25 days to take from now until the end of December. I was under the impression that the change was aimed at allowing businesses under particular pressure from the impacts of COVID-19 the flexibility to better manage their workforce, while protecting workers' right to paid holiday.  

  • In reply to Lilia Adani:

    Lilia if you use the search facilities you will find a number of questions around holiday, carry over etc during Covid (indeed its probably mentioned earlier in this thread)

    Many organisations (including my own) have been mandating a certain amount of leave being taken per quarter during this crisis. You have under the Covid regulation the ability to allow a greater degree of carry over this year - its not a right but something you can do
  • In reply to Keith:

    Thank you for the advice, I am new to this forum so not 100% how to use it but i will search as you said.
  • Steve Bridger

    | 0 Posts

    Community Manager

    7 Oct, 2020 08:10

    In reply to Lilia Adani:

    ...and you're very welcome here, Lilia.
  • I am sure this has been asked before but I can't find it so apologies if I am duplicating. If someone is not following COVID restrictions outside of work, is there anything an employer can do as it is not work-related but could affect others that they work with the continuity of the business?
  • In reply to Georgia:

    Georgia said:
    I am sure this has been asked before but I can't find it so apologies if I am duplicating. If someone is not following COVID restrictions outside of work, is there anything an employer can do as it is not work-related but could affect others that they work with the continuity of the business?

    Relatively little. Clearly if their actions outside work are so outrageous as to seriously endanger the H&S of colleagues in the workplace then you could warn (even potentially suspend) etc but....if someone is stupid enough not to follow government guidelines then are they likely to listen to you?

    Best to have  a quiet word maybe.

    Also you have little knowledge of how well most employees are following guidelines out of work

  • In reply to Keith:

    Thank you, Keith. It's pretty much what I thought too, taking everything else away, I think to stand on that soapbox you would have to be an absolutely perfect role model for following the guideline and I think with the best will in the world it's extremely difficult. Thanks again