October HR update

End of the Job Retention Scheme

Furlough under the Job Retention scheme ended on 30 September 2021 and employees should now return to work. If you’re unable to accommodate an employee who has been on furlough on their standing terms and conditions (including hours, pay, job role etc) then it is risky to simply change their terms or dismiss them without following a robust process. If this applies in your business, please contact us for advice. There may be options you haven’t yet considered as an alternative to redundancy. If your employees can return to work, and they have been on full time furlough (rather than flexi) and have been out for some time, it’s likely they will need additional training to bring them up to speed. Your working practices may also have changed, and there may have been staff or business changes too. With this in mind, it is a good idea to almost treat them like new employees and going through a modified induction plan. It’s important to consider health and safety implications, due to the potentially increased number of people at work, and you may have to adapt covid-safe working practices to accommodate the numbers. We work with a trusted partner in Health and Safety and would be happy to put you in touch. The most important element of the next stage for organisations, whatever form that may take, is employee wellbeing. Furlough may have come with feelings of uncertainty, insecurity and confusion for many. You should acknowledge this and ensure there are measures in place to support employees during their return to work or any formal process you go through. At Moss HR we are Mental Health First Aiders and happy to advise on what you can do to support your employees, as well as refer you to our trusted partner in providing Mental Health training.  

Kickstart Scheme

The Kickstart Scheme, first published in September 2020 was introduced to provide funding to create new jobs for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit at risk of long term unemployment. Employers of all sizes can apply for funding which covers: The scheme was due to close to new applicants on 31 December 2021. However, on 4 October 2021, the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, set out his plans to boost the UK’s economic recovery following the pandemic. Mr Sunak announced support will be extended into 2022 including the Kickstart scheme until March 2022 and the apprenticeship incentive paying employers £3,000 per apprentice by four months until the end of January. The Kickstart scheme, which was introduced in September 2020, allows employers of all sizes to apply for funding to create jobs for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit. If you would like to know more about the scheme, please contact Moss HR for more details to ensure your business meets the criteria.  

SSP Rebate Scheme

The Coronavirus SSP Rebate Scheme ended on 30 September 2021. Any absences from this date will need to be paid in full by the employer and cannot be reclaimed. Businesses must submit or amend all claims for periods of sickness before 1 October 2021 by 31 December 2021.  

Care home workers can self-certify exemption

Everyone working in care homes needs to be fully vaccinated under a new law to protect residents.  New legislation means from October – subject to Parliamentary approval and a subsequent 16-week grace period – anyone working in a CQC-registered care home in England for residents requiring nursing or personal care must have two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine unless they have a medical exemption. Care home workers and volunteers can self-certify to get a temporary exemption from the Covid jab; they can continue working as usual past 11 November 2021 if they give their employers the form available on the government website. Temporary exemption will expire 12 weeks from the launch date of the new Covid Pass system, but staff can use this to apply for a permanent medical exemption. If you employ workers in a registered Care Home, then we suggest you contact us for specific advice on how to deal with anyone who does not want to, or is unable to, have the Covid vaccine.   Please contact Moss HR if you would like any additional support for any of the above.

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