As the coronavirus continues to escalate, employers are having to grapple with a wide range of issues - particularly around sick pay, homeworking and how to respond to a potential downturn in business. We have been helping HR teams with the following type of queries:

  • If an employee self-isolates, or stays away from home as they are at 'high-risk' from coronavirus, do we need to pay them?
  • If an employee needs to take time off because their child's school has closed, do we need to pay them?
  • When can we 'lay off' employees, or impose 'short-time working'?
  • Should we count coronavirus-related absences towards our absence 'trigger points'?
  • If an employee refuses to self-isolate, can we prevent them from accessing our premises?
  • Who is responsible for meeting the costs associated with homeworking?
  • Can we refuse holiday requests?
  • Can we avoid collective redundancy consultation in an 'emergency situation'?
  • If we suspend a pregnant woman for health and safety reasons could that trigger the start of her maternity leave?
  • Can we withdraw a job offer, or delay a new start's commencement date?

Our legal update covers the key issues for employers, whilst we have made our template temporary homeworking policy available here.

Workbox by Brodies users can also access our dedicated Coronavirus (COVID-19) page, for more detailed guidance and other template policies.

Please get in touch with your usual Brodies contact if you would like to discuss any issues relating to coronavirus, or would like to request a free trial of Workbox.


Julie Keir

Practice Development Lawyer