Employment & Immigration
The impact that the coronavirus outbreak has had on the world of work is unprecedented. Most of us will be affected by a huge change in working arrangements whether that is working for home or, for many, an inability to work at all. As a result of these unique circumstances, employers are facing huge pressures on their business and in relation to their workforce. Many employees are, understandably, worried about job security.
With a view to avoiding mass redundancies across the country, the UK Government introduced the job retention scheme in March. But what does furloughing really mean? How do you ensure that it is done in such a way that your claim is met by HMRC? What steps do you need to take in advance of furloughing employees? How does furloughing affect benefits or annual leave? Can you furlough an employee with a Tier 2 visa, and what extra steps need to be taken? Our expert employment team is fully up to speed with all of the very fast changing employment law developments that are taking place at the moment. To assist both employers and employees we are regularly adding to our Frequently Asked Questions on Coronavirus in the Workplace and also our Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - Overview and FAQs. We are also recording regular podcasts on the coronavirus situation and how it affects employment law and the employer/employee relationship.
Although the job retention scheme is currently providing employers with much needed breathing space at a very challenging time, it is due to change from August and be wound down by October. Employers need to have a strategy in place to manage the situation when that happens. Unfortunately, the economic impact of the coronavirus is far reaching and for many employers, this may mean that consideration needs to be given to reduction in working hours or pay, lay-offs without pay or redundancies (which may involve collective consultation). We recommend that employers give some consideration as to what they may need to do at this stage so that they are as prepared as they can be when the time comes. Our Return from furlough FAQ highlights a number of the issues employers need to consider and is updated regularly to keep pace with new guidance.
Outside of the job retention scheme, employers need to consider the practical implications of remote working when verifying an employee's right to work when they renew their visa. Many employees will be unable to produce a new visa due to UK visa centres closing down, but they may still be permitted to work in the UK.
We are also here for any employees who are facing difficulties in the workplace. We are always sympathetic to the situation that you find yourself in and are well aware of the effects that a work related problem can have.
With more Law Society accredited employment and immigration law specialists than any other team in Scotland, our employment law team are straight talking and provide clear, pragmatic advice. We are pro-active and accessible providing swift, expert advice. If you would like to discuss your specific situation please contact Innes Clark on 0131 247 1181 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Given the current restrictions, a face to face meeting may not be possible but we are able to advise you by way of a video conference meeting or telephone call.