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Who decides on carrying-over holiday entitlement?

The Regulations do not require any prior agreement between an employer and employee that it was not reasonably practicable for holiday to be taken for it to be carried over.

However, if an employee requests holiday then an employer must have ‘good reason’ for refusing it due to coronavirus. The term ‘good reason’ is not defined so the Government will expect employers, employees and (if necessary on any dispute) the Courts to apply common sense.

The Regulations are not confined to key workers so could, in principle, be used by employers for a wider range of employees.

The Government guidance suggests that the following factors should be taken into account when considering whether it was reasonably practicable to take the leave in the relevant year:

  • Whether the business has faced a significant increase in demand due to COVID-19 that would reasonably require the worker to continue to be at work and cannot be met through alternative practical measures.
  • The extent to which the business’ workforce is disrupted by COVID-19 and the practical options available to the business to provide temporary cover of essential activities.
  • The health of the worker and how soon they need to take a period of rest and relaxation.
  • The length of time remaining in the worker’s leave year.
  • The extent to which the worker taking leave would impact on wider society’s response to, and recovery from, the effects of COVID-19.
  • The ability of the remainder of the available workforce to provide cover for the worker going on leave.

Related FAQs

What is the NICE guidance around Service organisation?
  • Trusts should allow for telephone advice rather than face-to-face review from critical care when clinically appropriate.
  • Hospitals should discuss the sharing of resources and the transfer of patients between units, including units in other hospitals, to ensure the best use of critical care within the NHS.

Please note, the above is intended to provide a summary of the key recommendations which emerge from this guidance. Access to the full guidance can be found here.

Is there a matched funding scheme for the National Emergencies Trust?

The government has also confirmed it will match donations to the National Emergencies Trust as part of the BBC’s Big Night In fundraiser on 23 April – pledging a minimum of £20 million.

What type of bundle will be required by the COP for a remote hearing?

Physical bundles may not be regarded as safe for public health and there are obvious difficulties in providing them with the current restrictions in place. Electronic bundles should be provided in PDF format, preferably paginated, indexed and bookmarked. The bundles should only contain documents and authorities that are essential to the issues required to be decided at the remote hearing and should be filed with the court by email.

The employee I need to consider suspending is a doctor – do I have to follow MHPS

Yes probably in our opinion, even if you are not considering taking any formal action against them. Ultimately if a doctor is suspended this could be considered as causing them reputational damage and it therefore is correct that they are afforded the protections (in particular in relation to keeping exclusion/suspension under review) of MHPS. Under Part V of MHPS there is provision for excluding practitioners if they are a danger to patients and they refuse to recognise it or if they refuse to co-operate. It doesn’t refer to a particular risk for the practitioner themselves, but it would appear logical that it would apply.

Does a sponsor need to report a change in workplace if a Tier 2 visa holder is working from home as a result of Covid-19?

No. The Home Office has confirmed that sponsors do not need to report sponsored workers as working from home, where this is directly related to the coronavirus outbreak.

However any UK employers who sponsor overseas workers, should also ensure that they remain compliant with their other sponsor licence duties, which includes reporting any change to an employee’s salary and duties.