It’s no secret that coronavirus (COVID-19) has completely destroyed 2020 and all its plans. The summer Olympics in Japan has been cancelled, there have been recurring lockdowns around the world and people have had to create their own fun at home. Whilst many people have been thrilled by the opportunity to relax throughout the year and work on their physical and mental health, others haven’t been lucky enough to enjoy the extra time at home.
One of the most affected industries in the UK has been the employment industry. This is because the majority of non-essential retail stores have closed – some temporarily and others permanently as a result of the pandemic. The closing of retail has meant many people are running the risk of becoming unemployed. The risk of unemployment due to coronavirus has therefore increased the need for more worker protections. Workers are not alone though, and it is advised that they seek help from external bodies such as employment solicitors or unions to keep them in check at such an uncertain time.
If you catch COVID-19
Catching coronavirus is nothing to take lightly. Your employer should be fully supportive of your circumstances. Even if you don’t catch COVID-19, your employer should be appreciative if you have to isolate or shield at home if you have any underlying health conditions. You’re fully protected by your rights as a worker to not be discriminated against due to your health. You’re also fully entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if you need to isolate whether you have COVID symptoms or not. If you’re having trouble with your employer and you can’t seem to find the answers you need online, it might be useful to contact an employment law firm for some help.
If your work temporarily closes
Not being employed in a job where you can work from home is definitely problematic during COVID-19. As the rules and restrictions have continuously been up and down, many non-essential workplaces have had to close. As a result, the government have adopted the furlough scheme to pay employees 80% of their average hours worked. This means that employees do not have to risk losing out on a wage while their workplace is closed. Employment solicitors are great in providing a wealth of information to keep you right and make sure you’re getting what you rightfully deserve.
If you need to work from home
Coronavirus has made employment solicitor’s jobs even more important due to the changes in work terms and conditions. If you are working from home due to the pandemic, you should still receive all your pay and benefits as you did in the office. That being said, there have been cases where employers have had to consider pay reductions. Experts advise that employers should seek advice from employment solicitors before making any final decisions.
Overall, it’s very clear both employers and employees have been affected by COVID-19. Luckily enough, there are experts who can help keep things in check.