It is challenging times for both employers and employees at the moment – not something new but it is good to acknowledge this! I have received so much information, tips and advice from various sources and I thought it might be useful to share some of this with you in a drip feed fashion rather than information overload.
One of the most popular words on so many people’s lips at the moment is furlough. Following the announcement by the government that they were introducing the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, I spent the following 2/3 weeks supporting my clients so that they could take advantage of this scheme where possible to support their employees and avoid redundancies. For most companies, the process of furloughing their employees has already taken place and now that the portal opens from the 20th April 2020 this will allow employers to claim 80% of their employee’s salaries up to a maximum of £2,500 per employee each month. The HMRC have provided guidance for employers – here is the link which should provide you with the information you need but if there is anything you are not sure of, do give me a call:
The scheme is currently due to run until the end of May but there is some pressure to extend this deadline. If you want any advice on furloughing employees, I will do my best to answer your query, although I am not a payroll expert, I do have people around me who are!
It is worth mentioning employees on furlough can do volunteering work (subject to current movement restrictions) as long as they do not provide services to or generate revenue for their own employer. Being useful and having a purpose will help with mental health and well-being so should be encouraged.
Mental health and well-being should not be overlooked especially now. All of us are going through massive change, there is fear and stress at different levels whether you are on furlough, working from home, lost your job or a business owner struggling to plan how you can protect your business.
One thing we can all do is to keep those lines of communication open – employers with employees, employees with line managers and each other. Whether your team is working from home or on furlough, keep them engaged and ensure they are coping with the new demands and stresses placed on them.
This can range from fear of infection, feeling of isolation, money worries, coping with having to juggle working from home with home schooling, getting supplies, looking after older relatives – the list goes on.
Being able to open up and acknowledge these fears with others and for employers and small business owners that may be with others in their network of local business who understand and who may be able to learn from each other.
SOM have produced a useful blog on working from home and maintaining work-life balance and mental health;
For now, keep well and stay safe.