The Covid-19 (Coronavirus) Government Bill – Changes for Employers |Employment Law

The government has introduced further emergency measures in response to the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.

Key changes for employers to be aware of are:

  • Employees and workers will be allowed to take emergency volunteer leave (unpaid) in blocks of either two, three or four weeks provided they produce an Emergency Volunteering Certificate. This applies to those who may choose to volunteer for the delivery of health and social care services for example delivering food supplies.
  • As a temporary measure, Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is to be paid straight away and not after three days as it currently stands. This is to have retrospective effect from 13 March 2020.
  • Those employers with fewer than 250 employees will be able to reclaim the first 14 days of SSP in relation to those off sick in relation to Covid-19. No GP fit note is required in order to reclaim however employers are encouraged to keep up to date records of absences.
  • SSP regulations will now extend to those who are self-isolating in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and who for reasons outside of their control cannot work remotely.
  • As part of the government’s job retention scheme, employees will be paid up to 80% of their salary for up to 3 months where they have been temporarily laid off. Further announcements about how this will work operationally are expected to be made this week.

We recommend employers continue to review their contracts and policies and take a flexible approach to time off during these unprecedented times.

For any assistance surrounding Covid-19 please contact our employment team on 0345 20 73 728 or at

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