There are several issues relating to Covid-19 that are likely to have an impact on the workplace over the next few months and years. Employment law is designed to protect people working in all sectors and industries.
When the seriousness of the pandemic became apparent a few months ago, it had a huge impact on all our working lives. Many people were furloughed, some simply found that their job and business disappeared, practically overnight, others were able to continue working from home.
Even as we begin to reopen businesses across the UK, the situation for many employees is very uncertain. Understanding where you are with regards to employment law, whether you are working from home, furloughed or facing redundancy. Here are just some of the issues that have arisen in recent times.
Self-Isolating and Work
If you have coronavirus, have the symptoms relating to it or a member of your household has the virus, you need to self-isolate. In some cases, you may be able to work from home but, if you are unable to, you should be able to get statutory sick pay or, if you have a contractual sick pay agreement, payment from this.
Worry About Going into Work
One of the big challenges we’ve had to face is returning to work. Many employees are unsure of their rights here and what their employer can ask of them.
Your workplace should make sure that it is safe to return for a start. For example, they should carry out an assessment and put in appropriate safety measures such as sneeze screens and make sanitizing products available.
If you need to work from home (perhaps if you or someone in your household is more at risk) and your employer is being unreasonable and refusing to let you do this, it’s essential to talk to an employment law specialist.
Discrimination During Coronavirus
There is some indication that unscrupulous employers are using the pandemic to discriminate against certain groups such as women, ethnic minorities and those with disabilities. Even during Covid-19, the law regarding equality still applies and, if you feel that you are being discriminated against, you need to get legal advice urgently.
Facing Redundancy During Covid-19
Unfortunately, some businesses are not going to survive the pandemic and others may need to cut down their staffing levels. If you are facing redundancy it is undoubtedly a very stressful time, especially since the current job market is likely to be severely affected too. When redundancy is offered it usually comes with a settlement agreement that needs to be checked over by an employment law solicitor.
Get Employment Law Advice
At Forster Dean, we have employment law specialists ready to help you with any situation related to Coronavirus. Just because these are extremely unusual times does not mean that your rights under the law have been curtailed.
If you feel that you are being discriminated against, have been wrongly dismissed, you are facing disciplinary action or have problems collecting holiday pay or sickness entitlement, it’s essential to reach out to your local legal advice service to find out where you stand and get the appropriate support.
Forster Dean operates across the North West and we provide an initial consultation where you can tell us about your employment law issue and get sensible advice on how to move forward. Contact us today to find out more.