If you haven’t already done so, you must ensure that your staff are aware of the measures you have in place to cope with virus-related problems, and to review the terms and conditions of their contracts.
This will include your terms of sick pay and their obligations to assess their health every day before coming to work.
If they have a new dry, persistent cough or a temperature in excess of 37.8C, or any of their household members have these symptoms, or if they have been in contact with someone who has recently returned from an area where there has been an outbreak of COVID-19, then they must not come to work.
Where members of staff are self-isolating, and are unable to work from home, they are entitled to be paid Statutory Sick Pay (“SSP”) from day 1 of absence and the business can reclaim the first 14 days of SSP back from HMRC.
However, SSP is only £96.25 per week so employees may struggle to make ends meet.
Help with Household Costs
You may therefore also wish to circulate the following to staff members for financial measures they can take as individuals:
This is going to be a very difficult time for absolutely everyone, and the shortage of income will cause severe difficulties in most households. If you do not have adequate savings, you should consider the following
- Contact your mortgage lender and ask for a payment holiday. Many lenders have already announced that they will grant payment holidays, but since the terms are different for each lender, you must speak to your own lender.
- If you are in rented accommodation, you should contact your landlord as soon as possible. If you are entitled to certain benefits or credits, then you may be entitled to Housing Benefit.
- Depending on your circumstances, you may be entitled to other benefits including Universal Credit. The claims process has been speeded up to enable claimants to be paid quickly
If you have credit card debt, you should speak to your credit card company. They may be able to extend your credit card limit and could potentially grant some relief from the interest charges