Skip to content

VIDEO EXPLAINER: Removing healthcare workers from the front line – the dos and don’ts

Specialist healthcare lawyers from Ward Hadaway ran a free webinar looking at the practical and legal considerations if required to treat healthcare workers from a BAME background or other vulnerable groups differently in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Related FAQs

What happens if an apprentice is made redundant?

Where an apprentice is made redundant the training provider should support the apprentice in seeking alternative employment within a 12 week period. ESFA will support this process. Where an apprentice is placed on unpaid leave or the nature of their employment no longer supports their apprenticeship, it should be considered whether a break in learning would be appropriate.

An employer who wishes to make an apprentice redundant should seek advice on the process to be followed for this.

What is the reaction to the funding?

The reaction from NCVO is that this is an important first step.  However, it will not stop well run charities from closing and others will look very different in a few months’ time.

How important is social distancing when planning your workplace?

It is absolutely critical to creating a safe workplace and to making workers feel secure.

This could include floor markings every 2m (as we’ve seen in grocery stores), stopping or limiting/staggering access to communal or common areas such as toilets and kitchens, rearranging workstations to maintain a 2 metre distance or, where this is not possible (for example in manufacturing facilities or production lines), erecting physical barriers and avoiding face to face working, encouraging the use of stairs and discouraging lift-use, designing a one-way system for entry and exit and looking at aircon/heating systems to see if any modifications are possible to prevent the spread of airborne particles. If you can increase ventilation in your workplace, it will help reduce risk.

The government has published detailed social distancing guidance for workplaces across sectors including manufacturing, retail, offices, construction and transport; it has also promised to continue to add to this.

Can employers reduce their pension contributions?
  • Yes, if contributions to a defined contribution (“DC”) scheme exceed statutory minimum for auto-enrolment purposes, it may be possible to reduce employer contributions to the statutory minimum, but not further.
  • However, the processes required for reduction of DC employer contributions will necessitate obtaining legal advice:
    • Reducing employer contributions may require changes to the employment contracts of affected staff (as does the furlough process).
    • Reducing employer contributions may also require negotiation with trade unions or other staff representative forums.
    • Where group personal pensions are used, the contractual format may not permit changes of employer contributions, and hence it may also be necessary to enter into a new contractual arrangement. Choosing a new group personal pension plan is a not insignificant task in itself.
    • Employers with at least 50 employees are required to conduct a 60-day consultation process with affected employees if they propose to reduce employer contributions (but please see below).
    • Finally, it may require a change to the scheme rules and engagement with the scheme trustees if the scheme is operated under trust.
  • For DB schemes, specific considerations apply (see the last section, below).