405,000 people answer the call for NHS volunteers
During the government’s daily news conference, the Prime Minister revealed that in the last 24 hours, 405,000 Britons have responded to the call for NHS volunteers. NHS volunteers will make phone calls to check on vulnerable people and deliver food and medicine to them. Employees will now be able to take unpaid leave from their normal jobs to fill the volunteer roles while accessing a fund that will compensate them for loss of earnings. Employees who take emergency volunteer leave will be entitled to the benefit of all of the terms and conditions of their employment which would have applied if the employee had not been absent, with the exception of pay.
Government poised to announce further relief for self-employed
The Prime Minister fielded more questions today on emergency relief for the UK’s self-employed. Boris Johnson said the UK’s self-employed workforce is complex with many different types of arrangements in place. As such, working out a package to address those various arrangements has taken more time but details of measures are expected to be announced on Thursday 26 March 2020 by the Chancellor.
Further update – Coronavirus and UK immigration
All non-EEA nationals who are presently in the UK and whose leave has expired or will be expiring but are unable to leave due to the impacts of the Coronavirus, will be able to request an extension of their visa. The announcement is found in a guidance document issued by the Home Office. The same document also states that individuals may be able to switch to a long-term UK visa. For further details please see yesterday’s update from our Head of Business Immigration, Sundeep Rathod.
477,000 workers apply for Universal Credit
The Department for Work and Pensions say that 477,000 people have applied for Universal Credit in the past nine days and they were redeploying thousands of civil servants to help process the claims. For further details, click here.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal closes
Clients with cases before the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) are advised that the President of the EAT has announced that due to the rapidly changing circumstances created by the current pandemic, the EAT will not be conducting any hearings (including telephone or Skype hearings) from Wednesday, 25 March 2020 until Wednesday 15 April 2020. Any appeals lodged with the EAT during this period can only be lodged by email.
The Supreme Court goes remote with video conferencing
The Registries of the Supreme Court is now operating remotely and the building is closed until further notice. Hearings are now being conducted via video conferencing facilities and clients who have listed hearings can expect their solicitors to be contacted with the necessary information. Further details from the Supreme Court are available here.
Health & safety in UK supermarkets
Supermarkets are installing protective screens and limiting shoppers in store following government calls for an immediate increase in safety efforts. Sainsbury’s and Morrisons are among those installing Perspex screens, while rival Waitrose is closing checkouts where two assistants sit back to back. Sky News reports.
The workplace in numbers
The Evening Standard has published the results of a YouGov survey on the impact of the Coronavirus on Britain’s workplace. A sample of 3,000 people contacted between Monday 23 March 2020 and Tuesday 24 March suggested:
Should you have any further questions or require any assistance with your employment arrangements during this difficult period, please do not hesitate to contact either one of our Co-Heads of the Employment team, Partners Tamara Ludlow and Ewan Keen.
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