HR Coronavirus Update for Small Business Owners – Updated 24th March 2020

There is a lot of information floating around at the moment, so I wanted to summarise it in one HR Coronavirus Update.

I will be writing a separate post later on today to provide ideas for those that will have children at home from Monday. If you are also working from home, I’ll be diving into how to look at structuring your day, so you don’t go mad!

Please do take a look at my other recent blogs on the subject as they have more information in addition to the HR Coronavirus Update summary below.

Petrol Stations – Please be careful if you are topping up with Petrol or Diesel as garage forecourts have been a hive for the virus.

Please make sure you are using gloves, and disinfect on your door handles, steering wheel, etc.

Having had time to review what the Chancellor said last night and think about the implications of what the HRMC have now sent through, I’ll spend the rest of this HR Coronavirus Update clarifying what you need to do and what you are entitled to.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

This is only available for businesses that would either have to make staff redundant or lay them off (If you have that clause in your Contract)

What You Need to do:

If you have a Short Term and Lay Off clause in the Contract:

  • If you have staff that you don’t have any work for but have the Lay off and Short Time working in their contracts, we need to follow the standard employment law rules and give them notice of 1 week to reduce their salaries by 20%. This will be back-paid until the 1st of March 2020.
  • I know that some clients we have already done this, but if they are still working, you cannot claim the money from what I can see.
  • If you have staff still working but don’t’ have enough work you can put them on short term working but happy to have a chat on how best to do this.
  • If you are doing this, then let us know, and we can help prep the letters for you and make sure you are keeping your business safe too.

If you DON’T have the Lay off and short term working in your Contract:

  • You need to have a discussion with your staff and ask them if you have no work form them if they are happy to be laid off in the short term and you can claim the 80% back.  You might need to pay the 20% if someone doesn’t agree however in this situation I think most will be happy with retaining their 80% rather than nothing or going onto universal credit.
  • You would then need to write to them to confirm this again let us know, and we can help support this.

At the time of writing this HR Coronavirus Update, we are waiting for the HRMC to confirm how we can claim this, but I would think it is via the Real Time Information (RTI). I will update more as soon as I know.

Please click on the links below to find out other benefits you are entitled to:

In order to take advantage of this you need to cancel you Direct Debits but ensure you still process reporting as normal


Continuity Planning

If you haven’t already seen or then please it is worth a watch you might pick up some ideas so why not grab a cup of coffee and download this free webinar that I held with the ladies at All-Star Marketing Club on Continuity Planning, and see how it might help you?

Get access to the FREE Video NOW

What We Still Don’t Know

Support for those that rent – apart from that those that do rent cannot be evicted that is all we know at the moment.

How Kate Underwood HR Can Help You Today

If you are worried, have questions about this HR Coronavirus Update or just want to have a plan B, then please do get in touch.

Our office is now working remotely so that we can ensure we are here when you need us.

Click here Book a call for when it suits you

Stay safe and healthy out there!

Kate 🙂


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