Since the onset of Coronavirus (Covid-19), we’ve had many calls from employers asking us for advice about what they should do about their employees during the period of lockdown and social distancing, especially with regards to paying them if they aren’t able to come to work and also from employees asking us what they are entitled to and if they are likely to still be paid during this time.
The most important piece of advice I can give you at this time is something that my Father said to me many years ago, which is “always make sure that you treat others how you would like to be treated and be kind to each other“. I don’t think that this advice has ever been more applicable than it is now, as being asthmatic and considered high risk, I totally appreciate how hard the effects of the Coronavirus lockdown, not to mention the economic implications, are on us all.
Especially if you want your good relationship with your employer or employee to continue after the current lockdown has ended, it is so important, at this time, to think of the long term picture, not just what is happening now.
Make sure that you communicate with each other, I would urge employers to do their best to do right by their employees (as this current situation is no ones fault) and for both parties to discuss the best solution for now and come up with a plan.
I would encourage employers (especially if their help is part time and has agreed to be self employed) that, wherever possible given their own personal financial circumstances, they should still pay their staff if not their whole salary then at least part of it, as often your wages might be the only income your employee earns.
No one ever remembers how nice a person you are when everything is going well, we are remembered for how we have treated someone during a difficult period or time and this is certainly a difficult time, unlike anything we have ever experienced before!
Try standing in the other person’s shoes and see things from their perspective as for employers, many of our businesses have been badly affected and we don’t know how long this situation will continue for. We are worrying about our own families, our own health and well being, our own financial situation, our businesses, jobs and careers and have no idea at this point how things will pan out. We may also still be paying our staff, even though they can’t come into work and we are having to do their job!
For employees, in accordance with the Government’s instructions, by now, you have probably been asked by your employer not to come into work and you probably have the same concerns as your employer, especially with regards to if you will still be paid during this time and if so, will you be paid the full amount or only part of your wages?
As I’m sure you will have heard in the News, thankfully there is some financial help available from the Government :-
If you are employed and started your job before the 28th February 2020, you can discuss with your employer being put on Furlough, which means that, during this period, you will still be able to receive 80% of your salary , paid for by the Government. Please see the link below to the appropriate page on the Government website:- https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme
If you are registered as self-employed and earn under £50,000 per annum, you might be eligible for a grant for 80% of your salary. Please look at the link below to the Government website:- https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme
For all the latest information on the Coronavirus situation, please look at the website: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
I hope and pray that this current situation will soon pass and life will be able to begin to go back to normal – in the meantime stay safe, keep well and be kind to each other.