Can I rotate staff who are furloughed? Can I put someone on furlough, bring them back when I need to, and then put them back on furlough, as demand requires? And practically how can we deal with this for those who want to rotate?
You can rotate staff on furlough or flexible furlough.
One option is to make it clear in the letter agreeing to being furloughed that there is an open ended right to rotate and to be able to take them off furlough and bring them back and put them back on.
So the employer reserves the ability to rotate by building into the agreement, but only exercises it if it is permissible.
Rotation is quite key for employers who need to make a temporary reduction to their overheads but want to retain the skills base to call back when work picks up. Having furloughed staff return on a part-time basis may reduce the need to rotate.
It also helps in the employer being able to show that they are treating the workforce as fairly as possible and everyone is taking a reduction. Get in touch if you need help preparing the documentation for furlough that will permit rotation or flexible furlough.
Read more about flexible furlough and how this can be used as part of the CJRS.
With the loss of face-to-face meetings in the current situation, video conferencing has taken centre stage. But how do you do that in a compliant way? Here are some of the main high-level data protection issues to consider when selecting and implementing a new third party provider’s video conferencing system.
- Make sure you do your due diligence on the security measures offered by the provider. Clearly you can’t visit them, so look at the information offered publicly by the provider and read good quality, reliable, third party sources and ask the provider questions directly. Also ask any other organisations you know that use the provider. Document all this.
- If personal information is being sent outside of the UK/European Economic Area, make sure that transfer complies with GDPR. If it’s a US provider, is it registered in the EU-US Privacy Shield list or does it offer a model clause contract (you’re likely to need the 2010 version)? Or is the service provided from a country whose data protection laws offer equivalent protection to those in Europe? Look at the support service as well as the hosting. Document this.
- Make sure you put a compliant processor agreement in place. The provider should offer one as part of the contract terms. Check it meets GDPR requirements.
- You’re likely to need to update your privacy notice, particularly if you’re going to record calls. Provide participants with a short message and link to the privacy notice in the meeting invite and on any registration page.
- Create or update other GDPR-mandated documentation – for example, depending on your use, you may need a legitimate interests assessment and to update your record of processing.
- Finally, configure and use the system in a secure and compliant way. Look at the settings/options carefully and think through the security and compliance implications of each. That could include deciding who in the meeting can share their screen; whether or not you use passwords for participants; whether or not to record, and if you’re going to record, where to store the recording. Document your decisions and the reasons for them.
The ICO has said it understands that resources, whether they are finances or people, might be diverted away from usual compliance work during the pandemic. However the last thing you need at the moment is to create a bigger problem than the one you are trying to solve. So do the best you can, ask for help from one of our specialists if you need it, and keep the whole thing under review.
On 16 April 2020, Ian Hulme, the ICO’s Director of Assurance, posted a blog for business owners, employers and managers about how to safely roll out the latest video conferencing technology.
On 21 April 2020, the NCSC published security guidance for organisations on choosing, configuring and deploying video conferencing services.
Because they all have devolved governments, when there are changes to spending levels in England, the Government makes adjustments to the amount of public expenditure allotted to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In this case £60 million will be made available for all of the devolved administrations as a result of the £370 million funding allocated to charities in England. This is broken down as follows:
- £30 million for the Scottish Government
- £20 million for Welsh Government
- £10 million for the Northern Ireland Executive
There may be further allocations, dependent on the final projects funded, through the £360 million direct grant pot.
Schools should be considering both Youth MHFA training and Adults MHFA training so that there are people within every school who have the skills and knowledge to support the mental health needs of students and teaching staff.
The end user client will be responsible for assessing if the contractor is employed or self-employed for tax purposes. It is required to take reasonable care in carrying out the assessments.
When an assessment is carried out the outcome must be confirmed to the contractor with accompanying reasons in a Status Determination Statement (SDS). This SDS must be provided to the contractor before making payment to them. It must also be provided to the agency if there is one in the chain (more on this later).
The end user client must have a dispute resolution procedure to enable to the contractor or agency to appeal the assessment outcome.
The parties to litigation should still take the steps they have been ordered to take and comply with any Orders made by the court. If for any reason it looks as if a direction cannot be complied with because of the Covid-19 virus then an extension of time can be agreed with the other party (up to 28 days) or through the court. We are aware that Orders have been made extending the time for certain steps to be taken by 56 days.