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Employment Law for Individuals

Coronavirus FAQs for Employees

Susie Al-Qassab
Susie Al‑Qassab
Partner
Homa Wilson
Homa Wilson
Partner
Neil Emery
Partner
Lauren Hannath
Lauren Hannath
Solicitor
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Natalie Wellock
Solicitor

As the number of COVID-19 cases is on the rise again, but restrictions are being lifted, there will be a number of questions on every employee’s mind about what might happen to their employment in the coming weeks/months.

Please see our guidance below in response to a number of common concerns being raised by employees.

Please be advised that the information provided below is for guidance only and was correct at the time of publication. As the situation in relation to COVID-19 is developing and changing on a daily basis, it’s recommended that you always check for the latest information.

 

What is the current situation with furlough?

Please note, this has been updated on 17th November 2020 and further updated on 13th May 2021.

On the 3rd March 2021, another announcement was made that said the furlough scheme had been further extended to the 30th September 2021, guidance was updated accordingly.

Since then, the government has published 13 sets of updated guidance, which you can find in detail here.

It’s important to note that the Job Retention Bonus, that was due to be paid out for employees retained after furlough until the end of January, has now been put on hold. The self-employed income support grant for November to January has increased from 55% to 80% of average profits up to $7,500.

For advice on your specific circumstances, contact us on
or request a call back.

Is long Covid a disability?

Although there isn’t a formal agreed definition of long Covid, it has been described as covering a broad range of symptoms that include fatigue, difficulty concentrating and muscle pain. Recent figures from the Office of National Statistics estimates that 1 million people in UK private households have reported experiencing ‘long Covid’.

This report indicates that long Covid has adversely affected the day-to-day activities of 650,000 people, within which 192,000 reported that undertaking day-to-day activities has been severely limited.

As a result, this suggests that those who are suffering from the long-term effects of Covid-19, could be considered ‘disabled’ within the definition of the Equality Act 2010. To learn more about whether long Covid is a disability, click here.

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Do I have to return to my workplace full-time when Covid restrictions end?

For those that have been working from home, many may wonder when they might have to return to their workplace, once the current restrictions are lifted on the 19th July.

A survey conducted by the BBC says that 43 out of 50 big UK employers won’t be bringing their employees back into the office full-time. Instead, employers will encourage a mix of office and home working, which has become known as ‘hybrid working’. There are advantages and disadvantages to this new way of life, which we discuss in further detail here.

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