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.
Office holders who provide services under an intermediary (such as a service company consultancy agreement) and whose services relate to the office held, would fall under the IR35 regime and must be assessed accordingly.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) announce new guidance in light of coronavirus.
The ICO is providing new guidance to organisations regarding data protection and coronavirus, which can be accessed here: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/data-protection-and-coronavirus/
The ICO has stated the following:
“Data protection is not a barrier to increased and different types of homeworking. During the pandemic, staff may work from home more frequently than usual and they can use their own device or communications equipment. Data protection law doesn’t prevent that, but you’ll need to consider the same kinds of security measures for homeworking that you’d use in normal circumstances.”
Whether you work from home or in the office, you still need to comply with data protection laws. While you need to process personal data with the same care you use in the office, the home working environment throws up specific data protection concerns particularly in respect of data security. You should make sure you have a home working policy which deals with data protection and these data security issues.
Organisations must ensure that, for staff who can work from home, their obligations in respect of processing personal data are clearly communicated. Organisations may already have a home working policy – if this is the case, then this should be reviewed to ensure it remains relevant and up-to-date for practices during this pandemic.
Obtaining an employee’s Covid-19 test result will amount to processing personal data for the purposes of the General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 (GDPR) and information about an employee’s health is a special category of data (sensitive personal data under the Data Processing Act 2018 (DPA)).
In accordance with the GDPR and DPA, there must be lawful grounds for processing such information. Most employers rely on employees’ consent to obtain medical information and process sensitive personal data and if the employee is unwilling to give consent, you will not normally be entitled to the information.
Special category data can be processed lawfully if it is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the data controller. Employers may be able to require an employee to disclose their Covid-19 test if there is a substantial public interest, such as ensuring that the employee self-isolate if they have a positive test. However, there is a risk that this measure could be considered disproportionate particularly if it is enforced on all employees as a blanket measure.
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.
An employer which is aware that a worker or agency worker is or ought to be self-isolating, should not knowingly allow that worker or agency worker to leave the place that they are self-isolating in (“the designated place”). To do so without reasonable excuse would amount to an offence which could result in the employer being issued with a fixed penalty notice.
The value of the fixed penalty varies depending on if it is the first or subsequent fixed penalty notice to be issued:
|First fixed penalty notice||£1,000|
|Second fixed penalty notice||£2,000|
|Third fixed penalty notice||£4,000|
|Fourth, and any subsequent fixed penalty notice||£10,000|