Coronavirus - Employment Advice

Many companies are finding it difficult in the current climate and some sectors are looking at laying-off staff, putting staff on short term working or paying off staff completely. Some measures to help businesses and those affected by COVID-19 have been announced .

People do still have employment rights in this difficult environment and WDCAB staff can assist if you contact us through the contact us page on our website or by telephone though we'd ask you to read the information on this page first as we are operating with very limited resources at the moment.



Essential Work & Travel 

In terms of work, the UK and Scottish Governments both state that people should stay at home except for travel to essential work and only when this cannot be done at home.

The guidance on what is 'essential' is ongoing and your employer should comply with the instructions provided.

If you are still required to attend your workplace, you should speak with your employer to raise any concerns about your safety and find out what precautions have been taken. You 


Working from home 

If you are asked to work from home there is advice and guidance on homeworking on the HSE websiteOther advice is available on homeworking on the ACAS website.



Lay offs and short time working

Some employers are laying staff off, furloughing employees, or putting staff on short time working if there is no work or not enough work for to do.

Information about short time working or being laid off and what it means for you can be found on the Advice for Scotland Page.

The UK government also have guidance about being laid off or put on short time working.




It may be that an employer says they are making people redundant. Even though times are difficult, employers still have to follow a process and you should consider if your redundancy is fair.

If you have any concerns about whether your redundancy is fair or what you may be entitled to You can talk with an adviser by telephone or through the contact us page.



Self-Employment-related Issues

The UK Government has financial support measures for the self-employed, which will not be available until June 2020 and HMRC will identify applicable taxpayers.

The Scottish Government have an information site in place to provide business guidance during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) crisis. 

If you are unable to work because you  have COVID-19 (Coronavirus) or you have been advised to self-isolate then there may be some benefits you can claim. Depending on your National Insurance contributions, you may be entitlement claim New Style- Employment & Support Allowance or Universal Credit.

Please make sure to look at our Benefits advice page.



If you are off work due to Coronavirus

Whether you are off work as you have COVID-19 (Coronavirus) or you have been advised to self-isolate, your employer should not require a fit note in order to pay you Statutory Sick Pay (provided you are eligible).

However, they may require you to provide an isolation note - NHS Inform in Scotland have a link to get an isolation note this links through to NHS111 . There are a series of questions to be answered before you can access the isolation note.

Please make sure to look at our Benefits advice page.



Time off for looking after dependents

With schools closing and dependents requiring assistance people are worried about how this will affect their employment.

The .gov website has some information about your rights to time off for family and dependents to deal with an emergency.

You may have a right to time off if care arrangements have broken down for a dependent relative or if you have been employed by your employer for a year unpaid time off to look after your child.



Using holidays

Employers have the right to tell employees and workers when to take holiday if they need to. They may do this if they have to shut the business for a week or two. Staff must be given notice of this.



Useful sites

It is not possible to give information about all employment situations at this time and we will update the information but the sites below have extensive employment information on them.

ACAS has guidance specifically regarding employment during the Coronavirus outbreak. There si information regarding working at home safely and in the workplace.


Phone advice can also be accessed through the ACAS helpline on: 0300 123 1100   Open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm


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