COVID-19 maintain their workforce
In response to COVID-19, over recent weeks we have seen a rapid introduction of new legislation, Government schemes and a raft of Government guidance, intended to assist both employees and employers. However, these changes have raised a number of workforce issues for employers concerning how both the legislation and guidance should be interpreted and applied.
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Many of the issues concern the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (the “CJRS”) – introduced by the Government to help employers whose operations have been affected by COVID-19 maintain their workforce. The CJRS portal is now up and running and it is currently set to be available for employers until the end of June 2020. The Government has published several reiterations of guidance for employers (“Employer Guidance”) and employees (“Employee Guidance”) detailing how the CJRS will operate and who will be eligible. The Treasury also issued a direction to HMRC on 15 April 2020 (the “Direction”) providing further information as to who is eligible. Unfortunately there have been a number of discrepancies between the Employer and Employee Guidance and the Direction, which has created more uncertainty in this challenging time.
In this edition of Employment Eye, we set out our views on some of the key issues that employers have had to face during this period in relation to the CJRS, vulnerable employees and managing their workforces more generally, and take a brief look at some of the longer term potential workforce issues which may arise as a result of the pandemic. In our next issue, we will be going into these in more detail.
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