20 Mar Coronavirus Update for employers – 20/03/2020
Online isolation notes launched – providing proof of coronavirus absence from work
The Department of Health and Social Care issued a press release earlier today announcing that employees unable to work for more than seven days because of coronavirus (COVID-19) can obtain an isolation note through a new online service.
The Isolation notes will provide employers with evidence that their employees have been advised to self-isolate due to coronavirus, either because they have symptoms or they live with someone who has symptoms, and so are unable to work. As isolation notes can be obtained without contacting a doctor, this will reduce the pressure on GP surgeries and prevent people needing to leave their homes.
For the first seven days off work, employees can self-certify so they don’t need any evidence for their employer. After that, employers may ask for evidence of sickness absence. Where this is related to having symptoms of coronavirus or living with someone who has symptoms, the isolation note can be used to provide evidence of the advice to self-isolate.
According to the press release, if an employee does not have an email address they can have the note sent to a trusted family member or friend, or directly to their employer. The service can also be used to generate an isolation note on behalf of someone else.
The full press release can be read by following this link https://www.gov.uk/government/news/online-isolation-notes-launched-providing-proof-of-coronavirus-absence-from-work
Chancellor prepares wage package rescue plan
At the time of writing we await the announcement of the government’s plan to introduce a wage subsidy to help employers and employees. I am planning to update the guidance issued on Monday over the course of the weekend to bring clients fully up to date with the latest information on the virus, what the government is doing to help, and to provide clarification around some of the questions that have been raised by clients over the past few days.
It has been a very busy week, dealing with numerous enquiries about the pandemic and what steps companies need to be considering. Sadly, many have already seen the impact upon their businesses and their staff. I will do all that I can to support clients through this difficult time.
Stay safe and try to have a good weekend.