What are the standard holiday rules?
Under usual rules, workers are entitled to a minimum of 28 days holiday including bank holidays, each year. Except in limited circumstances, it cannot be carried between leave years meaning that workers lose their holiday if they do not take it.
The government passed emergency legislation relaxing the carry-over of the 20 days leave entitlement provided under EU law. Where it is not reasonably practicable for an employee to take leave in the relevant leave year as a result of the effects of the coronavirus then they could be entitled to carry over the untaken leave into the next year.
Employees are generally permitted to take holidays during furlough. However, Government guidance has been updated to state that “Employees should not be placed on furlough for a period simply because they are on holiday for that period.” If a period of furlough happens to coincide with an employee’s holiday then you should ensure that there are business grounds to support furlough being used in that instance so that it isn’t just being used as a means to fund holiday utilisation.
On Tuesday 23rd June, partner Emma Digby was in conversation with Steve Hamstead and Mark Smith from AON along with Ward Hadaway commercial lawyer Nathan Bilton in a webinar titled Can trade credit insurance help to keep the supply chain moving?
The insurance market is under untold pressure as a result of the pandemic, and in such times there is a risk that insurers will cancel or reduce credit lines, particularly in certain high risk sectors such as retail. However the Government has stepped in to effectively underwrite the existing trade credit insurance agreements, and to keep trade supplies moving. Will this be enough?
In this webinar, we discussed:
- the Government backed scheme and how it will operate
- the prospects of obtaining insurance going forward, and whether it will become too cost prohibitive
- could the new legislation put your business at risk and jeopardise your insurance cover if you cannot cancel a contract when you are not getting paid for your goods or services
- the Brexit effect, and how this will affect the insurance market
- protecting your business with proper risk assessment processes and paperwork
Charities can also take advantage of the existing measures the Government has already put in place including deferring their VAT bills, paying no business rates for their shops next year and furloughing staff where possible with the Government paying 80% of their wages under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – see our People and Employment FAQ’s and our Premise and Property FAQ’s.
The Government’s guidance says walk, cycle or drive to work and avoid public transport if you can. Businesses will need to support workers in adopting alternative travel methods to reduce exposure to the virus. You could consider staggering start and finish times for shifts to reduce commuting during peak hours, or support cycling with secure storage facilities and a drying room.
Statutory leave includes family related leave, sick leave or parental bereavement leave. Claims for furloughed individuals returning from statutory leave should be based on their salary, before tax, and not the pay they received while on statutory leave.
Similarly, claims for furloughed employees returning from a period of unpaid leave on sabbatical should be based on their pay they would have had on paid leave.