What To Expect In Employment Law in 2022

2022 is another year of changes in the world of Employment Law and HR. In this blog, we are talking about some of the changes that we know are already going to happen.

Vaccination Status For Frontline NHS Staff

As we know, it was made compulsory for Care Home Staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19; this was implemented on 11th November 2021.

Following this, the Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, has said that it will also become compulsory for frontline NHS Staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, subject to medical exemptions. This will be set into action from April 2022.

Workplace Sexual Harassment

In July 2021, the Government responded to consultations regarding workplace sexual harassment. Their proposal outlines plans to instil a duty on employers to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace and to introduce new protections against harassment by third parties. This would require employers to take all reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment from transpiring amongst all employees.

This new legislation could also see employers held liable for harassment caused by third parties in the workplace. 

Tips And Gratuities

This has been a long time coming as the original consultation on tipping, gratuities and service charge was made in 2016.

In September 2021, the Government published its response, ensuring workers in the hospitality sector keep tips on a fair and transparent basis. Employers will also be required to have a written policy on tips and record how tips are dealt with.

Right To Request Flexible Working

Recent consultation has extended the existing right to request flexible working from day one of employment instead of the former 26 weeks. It is important to note that this is a right to request, and it is still up to the employer whether or not to grant the request. 

Bank Holiday Entitlement During the Platinum Jubilee

Employers should be aware that the late May Bank Holiday will be moved to Thursday 2nd June 2022, and an additional Bank Holiday has been granted on Friday 3rd June 2022 to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. 

Now the confusing part ensues; employees are entitled to the extra Bank Holiday if the wording in their Employment Contract states so. 

Let us explain.

If the Employment Contract states that an employee’s holiday entitlement includes Bank Holidays and then details the standard Bank Holidays that are recognised as part of the holiday entitlement, then it is down to the employer’s discretion whether or not to permit the holiday.

If the Employment Contract states that the holiday entitlement is plus Bank Holidays, the employee would be entitled to the extra day.

New Right To Carer’s Leave

In September 2021, the Government published its response to the 2020 consultation on Carer’s Leave. It has confirmed that it plans to legislate an entitlement to Carer’s Leave for employees as a right from day one.

The leave will consist of one week (5 working days) of unpaid leave per year for those employees with long-term caring responsibilities. This can be taken as full days or half days.

Leave can be taken to provide care, or arrange care, for a person with a long-term care need, e.g. illness, injury or issues relating to old age.

Employees will be required to give notice that is at least twice the length of the time being requested, plus one day.

Neonatal Leave And Pay For Employees

In March 2020, the Government announced its intention to introduce Statutory Neonatal Leave for parents whose babies require neonatal care.

It is expected that the amount of leave will be one week for every week that the baby is in neonatal care, up to a maximum of 12 weeks. This will be paid leave, with parents being entitled to a statutory rate of pay set by the Government each year.

Redundancy Protection for Women and New Parents

The Government has also confirmed its intent to extend the redundancy protection period which is currently available to mothers on Maternity Leave.

Protection will apply to pregnant women from the point they notify their employer of their pregnancy until 6 months after a mother has returned to work.

It will also apply to those taking Adoption Leave and Shared Parental Leave.

Employment Bill

This was originally announced in December 2019 and postponed due to a change in the Parliamentary Work Schedule brought about by the pandemic.

While the date of its implementation is unannounced, it is speculated to conclude sometime in 2022.

We will keep you updated on what’s to be included within the bill.

National Minimum Wage Amounts

National Living and Minimum Wage amounts will increase again in April 2022, as follows: –

Current Rate New Rate

National Living Wage £8.91 £9.50

21 to 22 Year Olds £8.36 £9.18

18 to 20 Year Olds £6.56 £6.83

16 to 17 Year Olds £4.62 £4.81

Apprentices £4.30 £4.81

That’s all for now. We will, of course, keep you updated on any other changes that come to light.

For help with Employment Law or HR contact http://www.orchardemploymentlaw.co.uk

Round-Up of 2021

In the famous words of fictional character Forest Gump, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get”.

2021 has certainly been a box of chocolates for us and our friends, we started the year working from home and in Lockdown and we got excited about eating outdoors (in the cold) when restrictions started to ease in April. 

2020 taught us that we needed robust systems but a flexible attitude and this has been a benefit to us this year. 

Employment Law is one of the fastest-changing laws in the UK so it is no surprise that there were changes. Some of the changes included:

  • The implementation of settled and pre-settled status of EU nationals
  • The end of the furlough scheme
  • Increases in minimum wage and sick pay
  • Compulsory vaccination for workers in the Care sector.

As well as some HR trends such as The Great Resignation and a more common approach to Hybrid and Working From Home.

This year we have seen some highs within Orchard Employment Law. Our wonderful clients have continued to trust in us to support them through the ups and downs of employing people. Of course, we have to mention our delight in successfully winning employment tribunal cases for our clients.

Our team has grown yet again, you may have noticed that our online presence has stepped up since George, our in-house marketeer joined the team.

We saw the return of in-person events and although we remained cautious it was great to see people at The Women In Business Big Show and The Education People Show.

Jemma has been super busy being featured in the media on television and radio shows such as Times Radio, BBC South East, ITV, BBC Radio Kent, KMTV, and Daily Mail. She was also a speaker at many virtual and in-person business events including, Chartered Institute of Management Accounts (CIMA), Omni Pro’s CPD Store, Bristol Live with In-house Recruitment, and Tourism South East’s AGM.

We got behind the bid to make Medway a City of Culture, unfortunately, Medway didn’t win the bid but it was a great opportunity to pour back into our local towns.

We are super pleased to confirm that we remain certified with ISO9001, meaning that we have good quality management systems and standards. The external auditor was impressed with all of the measures we put in place to ensure our clients have the very best and he found that we go over and above what is expected.

Looking back, we can say that we have had a good year despite challenges. We look forward to next year’s box of chocolates and wish you a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year.

3 Practical Steps to Improving Diversity At Work

Diversity in the workplace has definitely been a hot topic this year. It’s becoming more common for people to expect a business to have more than an Equality and Diversity policy but to show how they are taking steps to create a more diverse workforce.

Last week, Jemma attended an In-house Recruitment event and the speakers confirmed many of the things that we have been saying for years. She heard firsthand how employing people from marginalised groups is good for business, people from these groups bring fresh ideas to the workplace, problem-solving is improved as new perspectives are brought to the group and clients love to see people that they can identify themselves with.

At the conference, Jemma sat in on a talk by Neil Armstrong of Tripad. A good measure of how well an organisation is doing in terms of hiring talent from a diverse ethnic background is to look at the demographics of the location.

Neil discussed working with a City Council whose location was made of 40% people from Black, Asian and others from an Ethnic Minority background however, the workers from this background only made up 18% of the workforce.

Blind Applications

The council wanted some practical solutions to see whether or not this percentage could be improved. One measure was to introduce blind applications, this is where CV’s and applications are stripped of personal information which can identify a person such as a name, suffix, date of birth, and address. The result of this meant that the workers from Black, Asian, and Ethnic Minority backgrounds increased from 18% to 39%. 

Automating The Interview Process

Another business at the exhibition found that hiring managers would ask candidates the same question but in a different way, this was not done deliberately but it did mean that some candidates had an unfair advantage.

The business decided to automate the way in which questions were asked and they too found an increase in diversity of the candidates that were hired.

Use A Diverse Panel

A well-known psychology theory is that people like people like themselves. There is something comforting about familiarity and this is often the case in interviews. The thing we like might not be that it is a man or a woman or that they are black or white, it could be that we have a similar mannerism or taste in music of fashion sense.

So, it makes sense to interview people as a panel and to ensure that the panel is not made up of the same types of people. Some businesses will argue that they are too small and that they don’t have enough people from diverse backgrounds who can form a panel. There is a solution to this. You can borrow people from other businesses, ask for a non-executive director or even put someone on a panel who is not yet management.

What Else Can You Do?

Of course, these three steps are not the only way to improve diversity at work and there is no guarantee that the diverse talent hired will be retained. There are other factors that need to be addressed such as inclusivity and company culture, ensuring that leadership is diverse even if that includes mentorship and leadership programs, dealing with internal bias and so much more.

That being said, if you are looking for 3 practical steps to hiring a diverse talent pool you could try the above.

What Can I Do If My Staff Can’t Get To Work Because Of The Petrol Crisis?

We have all seen the disruption caused by the petrol panic and regardless of whether you think its due to a shortage of fuel, a logistical dilemma or a symptom of panic buying, the outcome is the same.

Some staff are affected by travel disruption because they are unable to get fuel or due to the congestion caused by queues to petrol stations.

So what can you do if your staff are unable to get to work?

Remote Working

The good news is that over the last 2 years many businesses have proved how adaptable they are and so lots of businesses now have the equipment and measures in place to allow staff to work from home. If you are able to allow staff to work remotely during this period, then this may be the option for you.

Carpooling

You will pleased to know that there is no requirement to sing karaoke like James Cordon but car sharing could help with the fuel dilemma. It may save on costs if staff share a lift and it’s better for the environment. You could offer incentives to staff who car share such as a free lunch or voucher. Of course we are aware that Covid19 is not over yet so we would suggest good cleaning and optional mask wearing to help reduce the spread of the virus.

Change Working Hours

This won’t help staff to get fuel but it could mean they are able to travel when there is less traffic on the roads. This will help with fuel consumption and ease the frustration of sitting in traffic.

Allow Annual Leave

If home working is not an option then consider allowing staff to take some annual leave or toil. You can also insist of staff using annual leave but employers should be mindful that they need to give twice as much notice as the leave that they want staff to take. EG, two days notice = one days annual leave or four days notice = two days annual leave.

If there is no annual leave available then you might want to allow staff to take unpaid leave.

I need to close my business due to staff shortages do I have to pay them?

As long as employees are willing and able to work then you will have to pay them even if you have been forced to close. The key being able and willing so those staff who are unable to come to work will not get paid.

You might not have to pay staff when you close if:

*You have the contractual option of lay-off (see our other blogs for more information)

*You have given staff notice to take annual leave

* Staff have agreed to take unpaid leave.

Where can I get more information?

The information in this blog is general guidance and not intended to be used as advice. If you need specific advice or you want to be sure that you are doing the right thing then contact us at info@orchardemploymentlaw.co.uk or visit our website at http://www.orchardemploymentlaw.co.uk

What Is The Scoop On Zero Hour Contracts

What is a Zero-hour contract?

Zero-hour contracts are the in-between status of employment and self-employment.

Giving workers the freedom to pick and choose their working hours, which is great for those with other responsibilities such as caring for a child or a loved one and those looking to take home some extra cash without the commitment.

Although zero-hour contracts are often portrayed as a cruel, heartless way of hiring staff they can be beneficial to both employer and employee.

The employer doesn’t have to provide any minimum number of working hours and the worker doesn’t have to work a minimum number of hours. Sounds simple enough right? Not quite.

It’s important to get things right to avoid pitfalls Employment Law.

There are various terms for zero hour contract workers including casual worker and although strictly speaking there is nothing wrong with the term causal worker it is not recognised in Law.

Employers should also be aware that zero hour workers are still entitled to basic employment rights such as.

  • Written terms
  • Paid holidays
  • Protection from whistleblowing
  • Protection from unlawful discrimination
  • National minimum wage
  • Payslips

Like most things, Zero-hour contracts come with both pros and cons for both parties. 

Pros

The benefits for employers are…

  • Reduces cash flow worries.
  • Great alternative to employment in seasonal industries such as hospitality and entertainment which sees a reduction in income certain parts of the year.
  • Employers can get the opportunity to hire staff on an ad hoc basis before making the decision to have the commitment of an employee.

Benefits for employees

  • Flexibility, workers get to decide when they work
  • Not committed to one job. Great for those pursuing other endeavours

But like everything zero-hour contracts have their downsides…

Cons

The downsides for employers are…

  • Poor reputation: There is still a stigma surrounding zero-hour contracts
  • Staff shortages : Staff can refuse work offered to them
  • Less Control : As employer will not be providing job security they are unable to prevent staff from working for others.

Downsides for employees

  • No guaranteed salary: As the amount of work available can fluctuate
  • Difficulty getting finance: Securing payments like mortgages, rent and even car finance can be difficult without guaranteed wages 
  • Zero-hour workers are not employees and as such are covered by basic rights only. 

There are a few myths still surrounding zero-hour contracts which are taken as common knowledge but are a violation of worker rights, and as such should be avoided.

Do workers on zero-hour contracts still get paid holidays? 

They still accumulate holiday pay the same as everyone else, all employees are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks of paid holiday a year.

 What about any other forms of paid leave?

Along with paid holiday. They may also be entitled to maternity/paternity pay along with SSP (Statutory Sick Pay) but these are not guaranteed to them, the worker may take the time off as they do not have to make themselves available for work.

Okay, but I don’t have to have any of this in writing?

You certainly do! Any contract given to workers must be given in writing and recent changes require you to hand the contract by day one of work.

To conclude, it’s crucial you state within the contract that as an employer you don’t intend to create an employment relationship. There are several things you should consider when drafting a zero-hour contract like how the individuals’ contract will be brought to an end, how entitlements will be accrued and more. If all this seems daunting and you don’t know where to start. Get in contact us over at http://www.orchardemploymentlaw.co.uk.

How Do Employers Manage Quarantine After Holidays?

We may have had Freedom Day in the UK but the pandemic is still very much here. What do employers do if employees wish to holiday abroad and how do we manage swift changes in the isolation rules? 

Holidays abroad seemed like a thing of the past for a while until the government introduced a traffic light system which has different procedures for those who wish to travel to another country.

The Traffic Light System

Currently Green countries are those countries which do not require quarantine upon return to the UK.

Amber destinations are deemed to have more risk than Green countries and will require quarantine for people who have not been vaccinated or travel before the rules change on August 16th 2021.

Red destinations are countries which the government has advised against travelling to and require a hotel quarantine period.

But what happens when a country moves suddenly from Green to Amber, Amber to Red or when the rules change at short notice just as they did with Paris?

Banning Staff From Going Abroad

Of course we cannot and would not want to ban staff from travelling abroad. Travelling means different things to different people. For some it is the joy of seeing somewhere new, to others it may mean a long awaited hug from a family member or loved one and for others still it is a matter of business.

It would not be reasonable or appropriate to stop staff from travelling and if it resulted in dismissal it could lead to an unfair dismissal claim.

However we do suggest advising staff that travelling might be at their own financial risk if they are required to isolate.

Do I have to pay staff to Self-Isolate following travel?

The current rules are that staff who are required to self isolate by law are entitled to receive Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) from Day One of isolation. You can pay more but SSP is the minimum that you must pay.

Can I request that staff work during isolation?

If staff are able to work from home and they are well enough to do so you can ask staff to work from home. If staff are working from home they should receive full pay.

Can I insist that staff attend their place of work during Self Isolation?

As of September 2020 it became illegal for an employer to allow a member of staff to work anywhere but their place of isolation during self isolation. Insisting that a staff member attend work when they should be in quarantine can result in a £10,000 fine for the employer.

Aside from the legalities and the fine, it would also put other staff, service users and clients at risk.

What can I do if my employee asks to use annual leave during self isolation?

There is nothing stopping you allowing a staff member to use annual leave during self isolation. It may well help them financially.

Employers can also request that staff use annual leave at any time providing they give twice as much notice as the leave they would like the employee to take. In real terms this means, 2 days notice for 1 day annual leave or 8 days notice to use 4 days annual leave.

Should I be telling my staff the procedure for self isolation following the holiday?

There is no legal requirement to outline a self- isolation procedure following annual leave but this is good practice. It will help staff know what they should do if they find themselves in a quarantine situation after a holiday. It also helps managers know what they should be doing.

Where can I get HR and Employment Law Support with staff?

You can get free advice from acas and from our newsletters.

We are always happy to help employers with Employment Law, email us at info@orchardemploymentlaw.co.uk or visit our website at www.orchardemploymentlaw.co.uk to see how we can help you.

Introducing George to Team Orchard

The Orchard Employment Law team is growing and we are really pleased to be able to offer George the opportunity to learn and work as a marketeer within the business. There is nothing quite like practical experience and support.

Prior to George starting with the team all of the marketing was done by CEO Jemma and Executive Assistant Lucy, although they are not marketeers they have learned a lot over the years. In true Orchard style we took the opportunity share our knowledge to help George Kickstart his career.

We asked George to tell us a bit about himself and this was his response:

Tell us about your marketing journey so far.

“I started my marketing journey within the music industry, I would handle the social media side of things with various bands I was a part of. I then decided to study music business in Brighton and quickly realised I had a knack for marketing and decided to pursue things further.

During my time at university, I’d be tasked with promoting gigs for various venues alongside acting as the assistant manager for a couple of bands in the area. But things quickly changed as my course was taken online so I soon began adapting by studying various marketing theories with the help of my tutors.

Within my final year is when I began putting my knowledge to use by working closely with two bands, assisting them with marketing strategies, marketing analysis, content creation. All the while establishing a conversational podcast and the creative responsibilities which come with that for my final year project.”

Tell us a bit more about you as a person.

“I’ve always been a hands-on person so being able to assist Jemma and the rest of the Orchard team in all things marketing is an exciting opportunity.

When I’m not at work you can find me taking part in a few sporting activities whether that’s running long distance, biking about the place or at the climbing gym. But when I’m not moving, I’m most likely eating. I LOVE to cook; I’ve recently discovered the joys of making fresh pasta at home and I’m obsessed!

Alongside all the exercising I’m a music buff, in my late teens I would take up any opportunity to go local gigs and support local bands the best I could. If you were to ask me who my favorite musician is, I’d have real trouble choosing just one!

With that said I enjoy my relaxation time, and to me there is no better way to spend the evening then sitting back and watching a documentary or my favourite stand-up comics.”

Do I Need A Working From Home Policy?

Working from home and Hybrid working has been a normality for some businesses for many years. However, many other businesses began working from home on a much larger scale during the pandemic. As we start to recover from the pandemic some employers have decided to ditch the office altogether whilst others have decided to opt for a Hybrid solution. 

I didn’t have a Working From Home Policy last year, why would I get one now?

Most businesses were not prepared for Boris’ ‘work from home if you can’ announcement in March 2020, but British businesses are adaptable and resilient and we rose to the challenge in a hurry. That meant scrambling for laptops and PC’s, moving documents onto a cloud and a mass rerouting of telephone lines. For many, the legal and security implications were not a consideration but we are still required to follow GDPR ( General Data Protection Regulations), Employment Law and Health and Safety Laws.

Data

You must still ensure that staff data and client data is secure. This can mean you need to consider a number of things such as:

How do staff dispose of documents containing data, will you supply a shredder, a confidential waste bin or require old documents to be returned to the office for safe disposal?

Are staff able to store documents safely in a locked cupboard?

Will they be sharing their computer with other members of their household?

Are they wearing headphones when they are having conversations which include sensitive data?

Is the email and internet usage encrypted?

Health And Safety

Employers are still responsible for the safety of staff whilst they are working from home. This doesn’t mean you need to do a daily home visit but you may well ask staff to carry out a risk assessment. At the very least you will want to ensure that they have the right chair and desk set up.

Who  Will You Allow To Work From Home?

Working from home is not suitable for everybody, some people do not have the space, the internet speed or the desire to work from home. If you are introducing working from home or hybrid working for a selection of staff then you should be able to explain why you have disallowed it for others. A working from home criteria is useful to help avoid discriminating against groups of people.

Expenses and Bills

Working from home can incur additional expenses for staff, your working from home policy should set out who is responsible for bills and expenses.

Avoiding An Us And Them Culture

If some staff are able to work from home whilst others are in the workplace you will need to make an effort to prevent an us and them culture.

You will still want everyone to feel a part of the team and although working from home has many benefits it can mean that staff miss out on general chit chat where friendships are built or they miss out on the social activities which workplaces inspire. It can also lead to resentment from work based staff who would like to work from home. Keep having regular meetings either via video link or in person and team activities to keep the team together.

How do I get a Homeworking Policy

We are able to supply you with and Homeworking and Hybrid working policy for your business. To enquire about our working from home policy contact us at http://www.orchardemploymentlaw.co.uk

Stress Awareness Month

A blog for employers on managing stress in the workplace

April is Stress Awareness Month and each year we discuss reducing stress as well as coping techniques. Over the last year there has been an increase in people feeling stressed in the UK.

Many of the reasons for the increased stress is due to the pandemic but it is important to realise that this has affected people in different ways and for different reasons. Some people have experienced loneliness, homeschooling, zoom fatigue, burnout, reduction or loss in income, shielding, loss of loved ones, illness, long covid, increase in caring responsibilities and more.

Both employers and employees have had to adjust, whether it be to a lack of or abundance of work and many businesses have undergone a change to remote working. 

We have put together some suggestions of how to manage or reduce stress:

  • Stress Risk Assessment

Employers have a legal duty to protect staff from stress in the workplace. The Health and Safety Executive provides a free downloadable stress risk assessment which you can use. You can download it here: https://www.hse.gov.uk/stress/risk-assessment.htm

  • Ask

It sounds simple doesn’t it? However it is easy to get caught up in the day to day things or to think that staff are no longer stressed because the lockdown is easing. Make a point of asking yourself and staff if they are ok. Not just ok in the workplace but ok overall. 

This can be done in formal reviews but can also be done in everyday conversations. 

  • Keep in touch

If you are still remote working as a temporary measure or as permanent measure make an effort to keep in touch. Not working in the same place sometimes means that you don’t see when someone is feeling a bit down. Emails, slack and other forms of business communication can easily just be about business so be intentional about keeping in touch. 

You may choose to have regular video meetings, team catch ups or quizzes, or physically meet up once a month or so.

This can help in fostering a culture where staff feel able to talk if they need to.

  • Monitor the workload

Some businesses have experienced a boom over the last year, others may have made staffing cuts and shared the work amongst the remaining staff. Try not to overload staff with too much work, too much over time can cause burnout which will result in more mistakes, lower quality work and sick days. By looking after your staff you will be looking after your business.

  • Have a shut down time

Being able to work from anywhere at any time sounds amazing but it can lead to us having less time to relax. It can be tempting to send an email at 11pm or on a Sunday morning because we can. The problem with this is that it can mean we don’t get dedicated time where we are not thinking about work. It may also mean that the recipient of that email feels the need to think about work during those unsociable hours. Try to have boundaries which includes a clear shut down time each day.

  • Remind people to take annual leave

This applies to both employers and employees. The ban on non-essential travel and the ability to work from home may mean that staff are less likely to take a break. Encourage staff to use their annual leave. Annual leave is a health and safety measure, it is there to help people to rest and recoup.

  • Training

Managers do not always know how to manage or identify stress in the workplace. You may want to consider stress in the workplace training for managers and their team members.

  • Contact professionals

Even though employers have a duty to protect staff from stress they are not always qualified or equipped to help. 

There are many mental health charities and professionals who can help with workplace wellbeing. You can reach out to them as a manager or colleague or you may choose to signpost staff to them.

Examples include:

Mind https://www.mind.org.uk/

Anxiety UK https://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/

We hope you have found this blog useful. We have a number of other blogs on Employment Law and HR topics, you can find these on our website at http://www.orchardemploymentlaw.co.uk

What Does The Budget Mean For Employers?

BUDGET 2021 – KEY POINTS

You will all be aware that the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, unveiled his Budget last week.

In this blog, we go through the key points from the Budget and lay out what it means for businesses and employers.

Furlough Extended
The Chancellor announced that the furlough scheme, which was due to end at the end of April 2021, has now been extended until the end of September 2021. Employees placed on furlough will continue to receive 80% of their wages (up to £2,500 per month).

As with previous extensions of the furlough scheme, employers will be expected to contribute towards employees’ wages from July, as follows: –

● 10% in July;
● 20% in August and September.

Employers will also need to continue to meet the cost of National Insurance payments and pension contributions.

Who is Eligible for the Furlough Scheme?
The rules surrounding furlough differ slightly depending on what period the claim is for.

For furlough claims on or before 30th April 2021, to be eligible, the employee must have been on their employer’s PAYE payroll on 30th October 2020. The employer must also have made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC between 20th March 2020 and 30th October 2020, thus notifying a payment of earnings.

Employees do not need to have been furloughed previously.

For furlough claims from 1st May 2021 onwards, the employee must have been on their employer’s PAYE payroll on 2nd March 2021. Again, the employer must also have made a PAYE RTI submission to HMRC between 20th March 2020 and 2nd March 2021.

Employers are not required to have previously claimed for employees before 2nd March 2021 to claim for periods on or after 1st May 2021.

The employee can be on any type of contract, including zero-hours, fixed-term or temporary.

Can I Re-Employ an Employee Who Has Recently Left or Been Made Redundant?
HMRC has confirmed that some employees can be rehired, and then put on furlough.

For claims on or before 30th April 2021, employers can choose to re-hire any staff made redundant after 23rd September 2020 and put them on furlough, as long as the employer made a PAYE RTI submission to HMRC in relation to that employee between 20th March 2020 and 23rd September 2020.

However, for claim periods starting on or after 1st December 2020, employers cannot claim for any days where a furloughed employee was serving a contractual or statutory notice period.

There is no obligation on employers to re-employ staff.

Apprenticeships
A further announcement made by the Chancellor is that the Apprentice grant has been doubled to £3,000 for any business taking on an apprentice under the Government apprenticeship scheme. This is an increase from £1,500.

If you require support with the matters above or any other Employment Law support please feel free to get in touch at http://www.orchardemploymentlaw.co.uk