What rate of pay applies to an employee returning from statutory leave who is furloughed?
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.
Some commercial tenants have queried whether the current situation is a force majeure which may allow it to terminate the lease. Clauses which allow a party to terminate a lease for a force majeure event or, to put it another way, an “act of God”, are however extremely rare in modern commercial leases. Even if there is such a provision in your lease, it would need to be drafted to apply to an outbreak of disease.Read more about this
This is something which is certainly on the Government’s radar as there is currently a Bill being heard in Parliament about making MHFAs a legal requirement for workplaces. It is still in the very early stages and therefore it is not clear at this stage what the outcome will be. What is clear is that this is an area which is being taken very seriously and it would not be surprising if measures were put in place regarding MHFAs in the workplace.Read more about this
The guidance has confirmed that all remaining employment rights and terms continue while an employee is furloughed. Holiday will continue to accrue during furlough however you may reach agreement with employees on reducing entitlement provided that it does not fall below the statutory minimum of 5.6 weeks per year.Read more about this
The Government’s Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act introduces amendments to the current rules for companies on holding meetings, to address the difficulties companies are facing due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The new provisions apply to meetings held between 26 March 2020 and 30 September 2020 (referred to as the “Relevant Period”). Subsequent regulations by the Government can be used to shorten this period or extend by up to 3 months but not past 5 April 2021.
The provisions will have retrospective effect, so meetings that were held after 26 March 2020 that may not have met the usual legal requirements due to lockdown, will be validated under these new provisions. These provisions under the Act make amends to relevant legislation and override a company’s articles of association.
For general meetings and certain other meetings of companies, the Act states that:
- The meeting need not be held in any particular place;
- The meeting may be held, and any votes may be cast, by electronic means or other means;
- The meeting may be held without anyone being in the same place
- Persons attending the meeting no longer have the following rights: the right to attend in person, the right to participate in the meeting other than by voting, or the right to vote by particular means.
The aim of these changes is to facilitate virtual meetings, and remove the need for a physical venue.
Where a company was required to hold its AGM between 26 March and 30 September 2020, it can be held at any time before 30 September 2020. The Secretary of State has the power to make regulations to further extend the deadline.Read more about this
Following our webinars on all aspects of furlough and alternatives to redundancy, it is an unfortunate fact that a number of organisations are likely, sooner or later, to be forced to make some employees redundant.
Our employment experts Jamie Gamble and Roisin Patton take you through the key aspects of conducting cost reduction redundancies, but with a focus on aspects that make this exercise different this time. For instance:
- How are you going to conduct sensitive meetings remotely?
- How are you going to ensure that dismissing any furloughed staff will be fair? You may have furloughed at speed, but redundancy selection criteria cannot be defined by such factors.
- Will you use this time to review your selection criteria if you already have some in place?
- How will you deal with individuals who are shielding, have child care issues or are pregnant?
- How do you ensure this is all done sensitively and fairly for those roles that are being made redundant, but also for those who continue to work for you but are still isolated on furlough or working from home?
- And what are the risks for making redundancies in this “new normal”?
Although you may be perfectly familiar with redundancy exercises these are far from normal times and it is therefore worth pausing to think about the impact that Covid-19 might have and what else you need to think about or plan for.
The webinar was recorded on Thursday 2nd July.
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