Here to Help: Changing legislation in response to the Coronavirus crisis

By Anthony Wolny | 31st March 2020 | 8 min read

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing unprecedented disruption to business as the UK rushes to limit the spread of the disease by taking measures to flatten the curve.

One of the ways the Government is responding to the disruption is by making decisive changes to employment legislation.

To help you keep track, we’ve put together a summary:

Relaxed Gender Pay Gap reporting

In brief: This year’s deadlines for Gender Pay Gap reporting have been suspended as the Government recognises that all things COVID-19 must take priority for organisations in the coming weeks. Organisation may still adhere to the upcoming deadlines if they wish to – 31 March for public sector organisations and 5 April for businesses and charities – but it is not a requirement.

Want to know more? The Government’s statement will help here

Statutory Sickness Pay (SSP)

In brief: You can now claim SSP if you are absent from work because of COVID-19, and the Government has stated that employees are to be paid from day one of their absence, rather than day four. This includes employees who are part of a household who have been advised to quarantine.

Want to know more? Our parent company, IRIS Software Group, has written a blog to help. Read it here

Carrying over annual leave

In brief: The Working Time Regulations are being amended to allow employees who haven’t been able to take all of their statutory annual leave entitlement due to COVID-19 to carry it over into the next two leave years.

Want to know more? Read the Government’s statement here

Delay to IR35

In brief: Initially planned to transform the way contractors are paid from April 2020, the implementation of IR35 has been delayed until April 2021.

Want to know more? You’ll find full detail here on our parent company’s blog.

Support schemes

In addition to amended legislation, the Government is also offering a support package for businesses and the self-employed. This includes:

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

To help business retain their employees through the Coronavirus disruption, it has pledged to cover up to 80% of the wages of employees who are placed on Furlough Leave, instead of being made redundant or asked to take unpaid leave during the crisis. Wages will be covered up to £2,500 (but employers can top this up for higher salaries) and the scheme is expected to last for at least three months.

Self-employment Income Support Scheme

The Government are offering self-employed workers a taxable grant worth 80% of their trading profits, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months.

Find out more about the support available on the Government’s ‘COVID-19: support for businesses’ page.

Responding to uncertainty

We’ll keep you updated with any additional changes as and when they happen – keep an eye on our blog and social media.

To find out how else Cascade and IRIS Software Group can help your business operate during these uncertain times, we’ve set up a hub to give you all the information you need. Take a look.