We appreciate that this is a worrying time; please keep in mind that the coronavirus is a challenging health issue and the government and health experts are constantly reviewing the situation. As such, while this guidance is up to date at the time of writing – it will be updated as and when any changes are required.
FURLOUGH PAY (80% OF WAGES UNDER CORONAVIRUS JOB RETENTION SCHEME)
We will be doing all we can to support our temp workforce financially at this time. In order to be eligible for Furlough pay (80% of your wages) under the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention scheme, the following criteria will need to be met:
- Temp workers would need to be on TPP’s payroll at 19.03.2020 and notified to HMRC on RTI (Real Time Information) submissions on or before that date, and
- In an ongoing assignment on 19.03.2020, which was due to last at least 3 weeks and which ended due to Coronavirus, or
- Were due to start (or had started) an assignment due to last at least 3 weeks and which ended due to Coronavirus
In some instances where we cannot place workers on Furlough, we may have to direct temp staff to previous employers or agencies.
For further information or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Coronavirus (COVID-19): latest information and advice on the gov.uk website includes:
- Advice from the FCO (foreign and commonwealth office) which particularly relates to anyone travelling to or back from countries and areas affected by the virus.
- An updated list of countries/areas that are affected and advice about actions to be taken when returning to the UK form those places.
- Guidance issued by Public Health England and the Department for Health.
Anyone working in the healthcare sector should also review the Guidance for healthcare providers: healthcare workers with relevant travel, healthcare or household contact history.
Anyone working in the education sector may find it useful to review the Guidance for educational settings.
Additional guidance is likely to be added to the gov.uk website so do review this regularly, putting ‘coronavirus’ into the search function.
At the time of writing the common symptoms are:
- Respiratory symptoms
- Fever, cough
- Shortness of breath
- Breathing difficulties
The current guidance is to:
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- Put used tissues in the bin immediately
- Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
- Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
- Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
Further information and when to seek medical assistance
Presently people are advised to contact the NHS 111 number if they feel unwell or if they may have been exposed to the Coronavirus. You should not go to the GP as you could spread the virus if you have it.
If you become unwell at work
If you become unwell in the workplace and you have recently come back from an area affected by coronavirus (symptoms are a cough, a high temperature and shortness of breath*), you should:
- Get at least 2 metres (7 feet) away from other people
- Go to a room
- Avoid touching anything
- Cough or sneeze into a tissue and put it in a bin, or if you do not have tissues, cough and sneeze into the crook of your elbow
- Use a separate bathroom from others, if possible
*these symptoms are similar to other illnesses that are much more common such as cold and flu so do not necessarily mean you have the coronavirus but people returning from an affected area should cautious.
You should use your own mobile to call either:
- For NHS advice: 111
- For an ambulance, if you’re seriously ill or injured: 999
You should tell the operator:
- Your symptoms
- Which country you’ve returned from in the last 14 days
The countries and regions that are categorised as ‘affected areas’ are being updated regularly. You should check via the latest government guidance which countries have been affected and the latest guidance for travellers to those places. At the time of writing, people who have returned from affected areas are being advised to stay away from their GP surgeries if they feel that that may have been exposed and to call 111 instead for medical advice. You can pass this information on to staff who have been affected.
WHAT TO DO WHEN ON AN ASSIGNMENT
On your first day, please make sure you familiarise yourself with company policies relating to Health & Safety and the Coronavirus. If you are already in an assignment, please ask if there are any updates you should be made aware of, and if TPP is made aware of any information that you should be in receipt of relevant to your assignment, we will contact you. Please keep your TPP consultant updated with any changes to your working arrangements as agreed by the client as soon as possible.
WHAT IF I DO NOT WANT TO ATTEND MY ASSIGNMENT
As an agency worker working under a contract for services, you are not under any obligation to accept or attend assignments and you have more flexibility to choose when you are available to work. However, if you do not wish to attend your assignment due to concerns about the Coronavirus, you will need to make sure you inform your TPP consultant as soon as possible, so that we can inform our client and arrange alternative cover if necessary.
Please note that you are only paid for work undertaken, so should you be unable to work, you may use any accrued annual leave to manage time away from assignments.
You can contact TPP on 020 7198 6000 during the hours of 8:30 – 6pm or leave a message at any time out of hours. You can also email your consultant directly.
STATUTORY SICK PAY (SSP)
At the moment, SSP applies if you are actually sick and unable to work (due to illness or injury) but recent measures have also extended SSP to someone who is not unwell if they are abstaining from work;
- On the basis of being given a written notice issued under legislation;
- Because they are infectious or could reasonably be believed to be infectious or to have been in contact with an infected person; and
- The infection is a disease which is subject to legal regulation for public health reasons.
If the conditions above apply to you, you will be treated as if you are unable to work due to sickness and therefore may be eligible to receive SSP.
The government has issued specific Coronavirus regulations in relation to SSP which have put measures in place to protect public health, so please refer to the latest information and advice via the gov.uk website.