Regular update on COVID-19 developments for employers

This page will be regularly updated with the latest developments impacting on UK employers seeking to manage the impact of the Coronavirus crisis on their workforce.

For information on lock-down and business closures:

Organisation Guidance Date published/updated
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government Guidance: Further businesses and premises to close March 2020
N/a Full guidance on staying at home and away from others March 2020 Ongoing

For information on the Job Retention Scheme and Self-Employment Income Support Scheme:

Organisation Guidance Date published/updated
HMRC Step-by-step guide: Claim for your employees’ wages through the CJRS 17 April 2020
HMRC Work out 80% of your employees’ wages to claim through the CJRS 20 April 2020
HM Treasury The Coronavirus Act 2020 Functions of HMRC (Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme) Direction 15 April 2020
HMRC Claim for wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme 20 April 2020
HMRC Self-employment Income Support Scheme 14 April 2020
Public Health England & BEIS Financial support for businesses during coronavirus 3 April 2020
Public Health England & BEIS COVID-19: Support for employees 7 April 2020

For information on social distancing and self-isolation:

Organisation Guidance Date published/updated
N/a Full guidance on staying at home and away from others March 2020
Public Health England Stay at home: Guidance for households with possible Coronavirus (COVD-19) infection 9 April 2020
Public Health England Guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable from COVID-19 17 April 2020
Public Health England Guidance on social distancing for everyone in the UK 30 March 2020

For information on key workers and access to childcare:

Organisation Guidance Date published/updated
Department for Education Guidance for schools, childcare providers, colleges and local authorities in England on maintaining educational provision 19 March 2020

For information on tribunal hearings:

Organisation Guidance Date published/updated
EAT Hearings from 16 April 2020 9 April 2020
Courts and Tribunals Judiciary FAQs arising from the Covid-19 pandemic 3 April 2020
EAT EAT President Announcement* 25 March 2020
EAT Update on Presidential Guidance** 24 March 2020
Courts and Tribunals Judiciary Update on Presidential Guidance 19 March 2020
Courts and Tribunals Judiciary Presidential guidance in connection with the conduct of employment tribunal proceedings during the COVID_19 pandemic 18 March 2020

 For information on travel:

Organisation Guidance Date published/updated
Foreign & Commonwealth Office Travel advice: Coronavirus (COVID-19) 8 April 2020

 For information on legislation:

Legislation Comment
Statutory Sick Pay (Coronavirus) (Suspension of Waiting Days and General Amendment) Regulations 2020 Came into force on 28 March, with retrospective effect to 13 March. As well as implementing s.40 of the Coronavirus Act (suspension of waiting days), the Regulations also confirm that employees who are shielding or who refuse to work because they are in a vulnerable category are not entitled to SSP. The schedule to the regs lists the categories of people who do get SSP, and it is confined to people who are in 7-day self-isolation or 14-day household isolation.
The Working Time (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 Came into force on 26 March 2020 to amend the Working Time Regulations 1998 to provide that where it is not reasonably practicable for a worker to take some, or all, of the holiday to which they are entitled due to the coronavirus, they have a right to carry the 4 weeks under regulation 13 into the next 2 leave years. This will not apply to the 1.6 weeks under regulation 13A leave, but this can be carried forward one year by agreement between workers and employers
The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 Came into force on 26 March 2020 and require the closure of certain businesses and place restrictions  on businesses which are permitted to remain open. Also prohibit anyone leaving the place where they live without reasonable excuse, and ban public gatherings of more than two people.
Coronavirus Act 2020 Received Royal Assent – 25 March 2020. Provides for SSP to be payable from day 1 and for emergency volunteer leave. Separate regulations are required to bring this into force.
The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Business Closure) (England) Regulations 2020 Came into force on 21 March 2020, closing bars, restaurants etc.
Statutory Sick Pay (General) (Coronavirus Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations 2020 Came into force on 16 April 2020 to provide for SSP during a period of shielding.
Statutory Sick Pay (General) (Coronavirus Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2020 Came into force on 17 March 2020 and allow for the 14-day period of self-isolation.
Statutory Sick Pay (General) (Coronavirus Amendment) Regulations 2020 Came into force on 13  March 2020: This legislation provides that anyone in self-isolation due to potential infection of COVID-19 is to be deemed as being ‘incapable for work’.
Department of Health & Social Care: What the Coronavirus Bill will do 17 March 2020

For other business support and guidance:

Organisation Guidance Date published/updated
HM Government Business Support Ongoing
ACAS Coronavirus (COVID-19): Advice for employers and employees 20 April 2020
Home office and Immigration Enforcement Coronavirus (COVID-19): Right to work checks 30 March 2020
Cabinet Office Guidance notes on Payments to Suppliers for Contingent Workers impacted by COVID-19 March 2020
Department for International Trade & UK Export Finance Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guidance for UK businesses trading internationally 27 March 2020
Public Health England & BEIS COVID-19: Guidance for employees, employers and businesses 7 April 2020
NHS Coronavirus advice 16   April 2020
Cabinet Office, Department of Health & Social Care & Public Health England WhatsApp: Coronavirus Information Services 25 March 2020


*The President of the Employment Appeal Tribunal announced on 25 March 2020 that due to the rapidly changing circumstances created by the current pandemic, the EAT will not be conducting any hearings (including telephone or Skype hearings) from Wednesday, 25 March 2020 until Wednesday 15 April 2020.  Any appeals lodged with the EAT during this period can only be lodged by email. Represented parties are asked to assist the EAT by ensuring that any unrepresented parties in their cases are made aware of this notice, which will be posted on the EAT website shortly.”

**In view of the rapidly changing circumstances created by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Presidents of the Employment Tribunals in England & Wales and in Scotland have directed that from Monday 23rd  March 2020 all in-person hearings (hearings where the parties are expected to be in attendance at a tribunal hearing centre) listed to commence on or before Friday 26th June 2020, will be converted to a case management hearing by telephone or other electronic means which will take place (unless parties are advised otherwise) on the first day allocated for the hearing. This will provide an opportunity to discuss how best to proceed in the light of the Presidential Guidance dated 18th March 2020, unless in the individual case the President, a Regional Employment Judge or the Vice-President directs otherwise.  If the case is set down for more than one day then parties should proceed on the basis that the remainder of the days fixed have been cancelled. For the avoidance of doubt, this direction also applies to any hearing that is already in progress on Monday 23rd March 2020 and, if not already addressed before then, the parties may assume that the hearing on that day is converted to a case management hearing of the kind referred to above. In person hearings listed to commence on or after 29th June 2020 will remain listed, in the meantime, and will be subject to further direction in due course.  The parties remain free to make any application to the Tribunal.

This Direction will be subject to ongoing review and in particular will be reviewed on 29th April 2020 and 29th May 2020 to take into account the circumstances as they then stand in connection with the Covid-19 pandemic.