We are in uncertain times due to the worldwide impact of the corona virus. Whilst we hope that the “temporary, timely and targeted” measures being taken by the government will assist to prevent a situation like the one that we see in Italy, it would be naïve of us to not prepare for such an eventuality.
Guidance as to how to reduce the risks to your business appears below;
1. Encourage a good personal hygiene routine within the workplace for your staff
2. Limit the amount of face to face meetings
3. Ask employees to avoid or limit use of public transport where possible
4. Ban handshakes or other contact greetings (we’re not a fan of the elbow bump). A wave or smile and verbal greeting will suffice
5. Ensure that you have sufficient supplies (where possible) of hand wash, anti-bacterial wipes and paper towels
6. Ensure that the cleanliness of the building/offices remains a priority
7. Ask your staff to notify you if they, a member of their family, friend or anyone they have contact with has recently been diagnosed or has returned from one of the most affected areas
8. Ask employees to disclose the location of any annual leave booked in order that you can ascertain whether they need to self-isolate on their return
9. Review and share your home working policy with staff
10. Ensure (where possible) that staff have the ability and functionality to work from home
For many businesses the concerns are two-fold. The work that needs to be carried out and the cost of the sickness. The Chancellor has just announced in the budget that the government will reimburse small employers (those with less than 250 employees) for any statutory sick pay that they pay to employees due to the corona virus in the first 14 days of absence. Statutory sick pay is currently paid at £94.25 per week. It is thought that this is a temporary measure to help to protect businesses against the financial impact of this virus. As you may be aware, SSP is now payable from the first day of absence and not the 4th.
For any questions relating to sickness, regulating homeworking or any other employment matter please contact us.