Coronavirus—employer FAQ

Advice on the current COVID-19 situation for employers.

What can I do to reassure my staff?

Right now, your staff are probably feeling anxious. It’s important to acknowledge their worries about the virus, and understand that for the most part, their worries are valid.

Remind them of your commitment to wellbeing, and signpost the official government advice on COVID-19, people’s responsibilities and the recommended courses of action.



What is 'furloughing'?

Furloughing is a mandatory suspension from work 

Furloughed workers are those unable to work due to circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic—as all non-essential businesses are closed, this means a significant proportion of the workforce. These are not staff who have been made redundant. 

For further advice and guidance, see Acas’ comprehensive page on the subject—and our own legal FAQ on the subject, available here.

Should I be sending employees home?

Updated 22nd September:

You may only leave your home for work if you cannot reasonably work from home.

Where people cannot work from home - including, but not limited to, people who work in critical national infrastructure, construction, or manufacturing - they should continue to travel to their workplace. This is essential to keeping the country operating and supporting sectors and employers.

Public sector employees working in essential services, including childcare or education, should continue to go into work.

Where it is necessary for you to work in other people’s homes - for example, for nannies, cleaners or tradespeople - you can do so. Otherwise, you should avoid meeting for work in a private home or garden, where COVID-19 Secure measures may not be in place.

Employers and employees should discuss their working arrangements, and employers should take every possible step to facilitate their employees working from home, including providing suitable IT and equipment to enable remote working.

What do I do if someone refuses to come into work?

Some people are rightfully concerned about their health. If there’s a heightened risk of catching the virus in your workplace, and you’re considered essential, some employees may refuse to come in. If they do you should listen to their concerns and offer reassurance.

I'm new to managing remote workers. Do you have any advice?

Managing remote workers is an art form, and people have been thrown into it suddenly by current circumstances. We've put together some easy to follow advice here.

How do I reassure my people in this time of change?

Again, this is a new circumstance to most, and many of your employees are likely suffering worry, stress and anxiety. Here is a short piece on managing change as an employer.

What can I do to spot potential mental health issues in my employees?

Right now, stresses are high—the lockdown, and the doom and gloom about coronavirus, mean some people are likely to suffer mental health issues now more than ever. We've put together some brief advice on watching for the tell-tale signs, whether at work or remotely

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