Coronavirus support: Advice and guidance for businesses COVID-19 Support

Supporting Employees

Mental Health and Wellbeing
It is Mental Health Month in May, with everything happening in the world we have produced a guide that offers businesses support and guidance, by signposting the best resources to help you manage this important issue during the crisis. This resource can be used by both employers and individuals and can be found here.

ACAS
Get up to date information and guidance on how to support colleagues from the ACAS information on coronavirus. ACAS are the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service. An independent public body that receives funding from government, they work with employers and employees to provide free and impartial advice on:

What to do if an employee needs time off work to look after someone
Employees are entitled to time off work to help someone who depends on them (a ‘dependant’) in an unexpected event or emergency. This would apply to situations related to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
Those who follow advice to stay at home and who cannot work as a result will be eligible for SSP, even if they are not themselves sick. Employers should use their discretion and respect the medical need to self-isolate in making decisions about sick pay.

Anyone not eligible to receive sick pay, including those earning less than an average of £118 per week, some of those working in the gig economy, or self-employed people, are able to claim Universal Credit and or contributory Employment and Support Allowance.

For those on a low income and already claiming Universal Credit, it is designed to automatically adjust depending on people’s earnings or other incom

e. However, if someone needs money urgently they can apply for an advance through the journal.

Certifying absence from work
By law, medical evidence is not required for the first 7 days of sickness. After 7 days, employers may use their discretion around the need for medical evidence if an employee is staying at home.

The government is strongly encouraging employers use their discretion around the need for medical evidence for a period of absence where an employee is advised to stay at home either as they are unwell themselves, or live with someone who is, in accordance with the public health advice issued by the government.

ACAS have more information on coronavirus and can help with specific queries by phone.

Apprenticeships
This guidance, for apprentices, employers, training providers and assessment organisations, outlines the changes that the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) is making to the apprenticeship programme during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Futures: National Careers Service Support
Business support: Futures are working with both businesses in SEMLEP looking to manage, motivate and support their workforce and individuals affected by the current crisis to get back in to work and training.

If you are a business that could benefit from support with recruitment, redundancy and training plus much more, find out how to get in touch here.

To talk to our business advisers about this support contact Futures for Business on 0345 850 8899.

Individual support
Have you lost your job, been made redundant or are worrying about reduced hours? Futures Careers Coaches are still offering the same level of support and will work with you to find and apply for work over the phone, by video chat or email – whichever works best for you. Their support is completely tailored to what you need. Find out what support you could get here.

To arrange a time to talk to one of Futures careers coaches visit: https://www.futuresforyou.com/get-in-touch.html, email [email protected] or call 0800 917 9419.