Employment Law - Update - Covid-19 - Where are we now?
Confused after last night’s announcement? From an employment perspective, the big question is whether people are allowed to attend their workplaces if the work cannot be done from home. There was confusion about whether one could only attend a workplace if it was an essential service or if it was absolutely necessary to go to work in order to carry out the work function. It appears the answer is the latter.
The Government initially said, “Travelling to and from work [is permitted] but only where it is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home”. This wasn’t at all clear. It then published guidance saying “travelling to and from work [is permitted] but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home”.
Subsequently, Andy Burnham tweeted that he had clarification from the Government and that was to the effect that people “CAN leave home to work as long as they fully observe the 2 metre distance rule”. On that basis anyone can go to work provided the work cannot be done from home.
For employers, maximum flexibility is important e.g. avoid commute times if public transport is required.
Of course, this is a fast-moving piece and will change rapidly.
It also looks like there are proposals to guarantee a minimum income for the self-employed. These are not passed yet.
We are still awaiting clarity in relation to Furlough working and this would be extremely welcome!
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Nigel Tillott, Head of Employment and Regulatory Law ,DDI 01452 689100