Coronavirus: working, pay and what it means for you

  Last updated: 05/05/2020

Our approach to pay and annual leave

During these extremely challenging times, we know that colleagues have lots of questions about our approach to self-isolating or queries from people who may be struggling to fulfil their usual roles or working hours from home.

This crisis brings considerable uncertainty and we absolutely understand that the main question many of you are asking is, “will I get paid if…?”

We are constantly looking at the various guidance being issued by the government to inform our approach but, ultimately, our priority is to keep our essential services running while keeping our people safe.

We are committed to paying all colleagues throughout this initial three-week period of enforced government restrictions.

We are also committed to paying colleagues who have been guided by the NHS to shield themselves at home for the next 12 weeks.

Now more than ever, we all need to pull together to tackle this crisis and that may mean that we take on work we wouldn’t normally do. It could be work that supports our combined efforts to keep our essential services running, particularly if we experience significant staffing shortages as a result of coronavirus.

It could also include taking on important work to help us progress key projects and 2025 strategy work.

Pay

As already stated, we are absolutely committed to ensuring that all of our colleagues are paid during these enforced government measures.

Our main priority is to ensure that people can work. That might mean people carrying out other tasks, working more flexibly or reducing hours if needed.

If colleagues are not able to work, they will still be paid. However, this payment may come as a result of them being furloughed (please see below for more information).

Furlough/government pay retention scheme

The government has introduced an 80 percent pay retention scheme and this is something we are likely to apply for, for colleagues who genuinely cannot work from home or we do not have enough work for.

The scheme enables people to be ‘furloughed’ on a temporary basis, which means they would not be working for the organisation during this period but will still receive payment. Annual leave and other benefits would still be accrued.

During this period, we will aim to top up pay so that people who are furloughed continue to receive their full salary.

However, we will need to make decisions on this on a case by case basis as this situation develops.

Working hours

As previously outlined, we will be as flexible as we can with people’s working hours – both in terms of the time when they work and the amount of hours they do, entering into reduced working hours arrangements if it helps those with caring responsibilities.

Given our move to essential and emergency services, some colleagues may have less to do than normal and it is important that we ensure people have meaningful work to do.

Annual leave

To avoid a backlog of annual leave being taken later in the year, during a time when we are most likely to need as many people in work as possible, we want everyone to take a quarter of their annual leave entitlement for the year, including any leave you have carried over, before 30 June.

It is important that we all look after our mental health and take some annual leave during these challenging times. In extreme circumstances, which may arise due to a shortage of resources in frontline care and support services, we will review the option to relax the proposed time limit on taking annual leave. This will be done on a needs basis.

If you want to take more leave to help with responsibilities at home, this can also be agreed with their manager.

Some colleagues may even feel that this situation represents an opportunity to take a voluntary break or unpaid break from work and we can consider that too.

Colleagues struggling to work from home

We know that some of you may be struggling to work from home for a variety of reasons. These may include those of you whose role doesn’t lend itself to home working, those of you having challenges with technology and those of you with childcare or other caring responsibilities.

Where this is the case, including for those that are self-isolating or shielding but well enough to work, there are a number of options that can be considered, including carrying out different duties, working more flexible hours, taking special leave or annual leave.

If you are struggling to work from home, please speak to your manager to discuss these options.


We’ve set out below some of the different scenarios colleagues may face during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and our pay approach for each.

I’m not a frontline worker. To follow government guidelines on social distancing I need to work from home.

  I can work from home

Normal pay applies

  I can’t do my usual role at home

Speak to your line manager who will agree other work you can do and any changes to working hours needed (flexing them and/or reducing them) to help with your particular circumstances - normal pay or rate of pay applies.

  I can’t work from home at all

Please talk to your line manager who will escalate to People Services who will review on a case by case basis.

I’m off ill due to COVID-19

Normal pay will be paid (even for those in probationary periods).

I’m self-isolating at home because someone I live with has COVID-19 symptoms

 I can work from home

The expectation is that people will work from home – normal pay applies.

 I can’t do my usual role at home

Speak to your line manager who will agree other work you can do and any changes to working hours needed to help with any caring responsibilities you may have – normal pay or rate of pay applies.

 Subsequent self-isolation is required

This will be dealt with on a case by case basis in discussion with your line manager and People Services.

 I can work from home but choose not to

If you are able to work from home but choose not to you will be paid Statutory Sick Pay only.

I’m presenting symptoms of COVID-19 but feel well enough to work

 I can work from home

Work from home (only if you are well enough) – normal pay applies.

 I can’t do my usual role at home

Speak to your line manager who will agree other work you can do and any changes to working hours needed – normal pay or rate of pay applies.

 I can’t work from home at all

If you are unable to work from home you are eligible for sick pay for your seven day self-isolation period

  My symptoms have worsened while self-isolating

If at any time during your isolation period you become unwell notify People Services – full sick pay applies.

I’m a front line worker in a high risk vulnerable group and need to social distance

  I can work from home

Where you can work from home agree this with your line manager and do so – normal pay applies.

 I can’t do my usual role at home

A full risk assessment will be undertaken by your line manager and People Services to review your circumstances and potential for any alternative or modified duties – normal pay or rate of pay applies.

I’m a front line worker identified by the NHS as at critical risk from COVID-19 and have to shield myself

 I can work from home

Where you can work from home agree this with your line manager and do so.

 I can’t do my usual role at home

Speak to your line manager who will consider your circumstances and the potential for any alternative or modified duties – normal pay or rate of pay applies.

Nursery, school or college is closed and I have no childcare

 I am a Care and Support employee

If you are a care and support employee (this includes administrative staff), we can provide a letter to enable you to access keyworker support within school in order that you can come to work – normal pay applies.

 I am unable to do my usual role or hours at home

Speak to your line manager who will agree other work you can do and any changes to working hours needed to help you manage childcare responsibilities– normal pay or rate of pay applies.

 I can’t work from home at all

If you do not feel that you can work flexibly from home please talk to your line manager and People Services.


 Download this information

Click below to download this information as a PDF factsheet.

 Coronavirus: working, pay and what it means for you

 Further questions

If you have any queries or concerns, then please speak to your line manager or alternatively contact the People Services team on the details below.

  01205 319 623

  PeopleServicesTeam@longhurst-group.org.uk



    
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