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How will normal salary be calculated for those with no normal working hours, such as zero hours workers?

For those with variable pay, if the employee has been employed for a full 12 months before the period claimed for you, can take the higher of:

  • The same month’s earnings in the previous year; or
  • Average monthly earnings from the 2019/20 tax year.

For those who have been employed for less than one year you can use the average of their monthly earnings since they began their employment until the date they were furloughed.

If they have been employed for less than a month, work out a pro rata for their earnings so far, and claim for 80%.

Related FAQs

What should an employer do when an employee has been told to self-isolate under the coronavirus Test and Trace scheme?
  • Do not require them to work
  • Continue to communicate with and support them
  • Allow them to work from home, is there alternative work for them to do if they can’t do their work from home
  • Offer SSP or allow them to take holiday if they want to.
Who is exempt from wearing a face mask at work?

Those individuals who are already exempt from the existing face covering obligations, will continue to be exempt from the new rules. These include:

  • Those unable to put on or wear a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or disability
  • People for whom wearing or removing a face covering will cause severe distress
  • Anyone assisting someone who relies on lip reading to communicate
What about employees who say they cannot return to work due to childcare issues?

Employers will need to be flexible with employees who are unable to return to work at present due to childcare difficulties. While schools have reopened, a period of isolation may result in employees having to keep children off school/nursery and therefore have childcare issues. Some employees will be able to manage this with their partner and extended family, whereas others will not. Where an employee simply cannot make any other arrangements to care for their children in the short term then they will be unable to return to work until that situation changes. Any dismissals on the basis that someone is unable to return to work as a result of lack of childcare are likely to be unfair, at least in the short term where such employees may well be able to demonstrate that they had no options available to them.

Employer furlough schemes

Furlough means temporary leave of absence. There is nothing to stop an employer seeking to agree a temporary leave of absence – with or without pay – with its workforce.

This could not be forced on an employee without significant risk. Without agreement, this would need fair selection and consultation – more on that later.

What are the new Procurement Policy Notes (PPN)?

The Government has produced and published three new Procurement Policy Notes as a direct result of the ever changing Covid-19 environment.

PPN 01/20: Responding to COVID-19

The purpose of PPN 01/20 is to ensure that contracting authorities are able to procure goods, services and works with extreme urgency, to allow them to respond to the pandemic efficiently.

This PPN provides guidance for the following circumstances:

  • Direct award due to extreme urgency (regulations 32(2)(c)) (click here to read our article regarding regulation 32)
  • Direct award due to an absence of competition or protection of exclusive rights
  • Call off from an existing framework agreement or dynamic purchasing system
  • Call for competition using a standard procedure with accelerated timescales
  • Extending or modifying a contract during its term

PPN 02/20: Supplier relief due to COVID-19

PPN 02/20 focuses predominantly on the supplier to assist in keeping supply chains open and ensuring that suppliers are kept financially sound during these unpredictable times.

This PPN provides guidance for the following circumstances:

  • Urgent reviews of contract portfolios and to update suppliers if they believe they are at risk
  • Put in place appropriate payment measure to support supplier cash flow
  • Where contract payments are based on ‘payment by results’ make payments based on previous invoices
  • Ask suppliers to act on a ‘open book’ basis and make cost data available to the contracting authority during this period
  • Ensure invoices submitted by suppliers are paid immediately on receipt

PPN 03/20: Use of Procurement Cards

The third guidance note PPN 03/20 relates to the use of procurement cards to increase efficiency and accelerate payment to suppliers.

This PPN provides the following advice and urges organisations to arrange with their procurement card provider to:

  • Increase a single transaction limit to £20,000 for key card holders
  • Raise monthly limits on spending with procurement cards to £100,000 for key card holders
  • Spend on procurement cards each month in excess of £100,000 should be permissible to meet business needs

Although the above advice has been provided, should these limits not be necessary, organisations should seek an appropriate transaction limit or monthly limit.

The PPN also advises that by 30 April 2020, in scope organisations should:

  • Ensure that a number of appropriate staff have the authority to use these cards
  • Open all relevant categories of spend to enable these cards to be used more widely