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Employment Law for employees - Coronavirus Update

In these uncertain times understanding your rights as an employee has never been more significant.  Employers have to come to terms with the changing landscape and do what they think is right to protect their businesses, and whilst they do have a legal right to make redundancies they also legally need to follow a process/framework. Employment, even in these hard times, still needs to be legal and fair.

Employment Law is complex and in the current climate there are even more opportunities for an employer to fail to uphold your rights as an employee.

At Banner Jones, our team of compassionate Employment Law specialists, have a wealth of experience in dealing with all aspects of employment law including redundancy, discrimination at work and unfair dismissal.  We are available now to support you and ensure that you find and achieve the outcome you want.

Our friendly and compassionate team are here to help. We are available by phone, email or video call. Contact us today in confidence for a no obligation initial discussion about your situation and how we can help 0330 017 6309.

We can help you with:

Settlement Agreements

Unfair Dismissal Claims


One of the questions we're being asked at the moment is what are my rights with regards to taking time off to look after my child who is isolating?

The law allows employees a reasonable amount of unpaid time off to deal with an emergency situation when care is needed for a dependant. This has generally been accepted to be a 1 – 2 days, although it can be more, depending on the circumstances; and we think COVID is likely to be such a circumstance.  1-2 days is deemed reasonable under normal circumstances as this gives you time to put longer term childcare plans into place, which of course during Covid may not be feasible.

Some employer’s policies may state limitations on what dependant’s leave can be used for so it would be worth having a discussion with your employer about how flexible they can be with any such policies given the circumstances.

This time off would usually be unpaid unless the employer agrees to pay you for this time off.  You would need to look at your employer’s rules about time off for dependants to see if this is paid. You may of course be able to agree to take holiday to cover the childcare,  work from home or possibly discuss flexible working such as a temporary change in working hours.

If an employee is dismissed or subjected to less favourable treatment for trying to take dependants leave, then that will be unfair and they could have a claim. However, as with everything in employment law, this will all turn on the facts of the individual case.


Why Choose Banner Jones for Employment Law matters

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I be forced to attend work if a member of my household is a vulnerable person?

If you are living with a person who is pregnant, elderly, or suffering with a disability that means they are in a high risk group, your employer should consider adjustments, such as enabling you to work from home. If your employer still forces you to go to work, you may have a claim for constructive/unfair dismissal, particularly if your work environment does not have social distancing measures in place.

Can I be made redundant when on furlough leave?

Yes. You could be made redundant during or after furlough leave. However, employers are obliged to follow strict procedures when making employees redundant to ensure that you are treated fairly. They must still follow the same procedure if you are on furlough leave.

Can I request to be furloughed?

You can request to be placed on furlough leave, but the decision is ultimately your employer’s. If you have a condition that puts you at high risk, such as a particular disability, it would be reasonable for your employer to consider placing you on furlough leave, if this is what you have requested. Failure to act reasonably and fairly in such a scenario could mean you have a claim for discrimination. 

Can I work for my employer whilst on furlough leave?

You must not undertake any work that generates revenue for your employer or provides services to them. You can however, undertake training.

Can my employer dismiss me if I do not want to return to the office?

This will depend on your personal circumstances and the nature of your job role. For example, you may have a claim for unfair dismissal and discrimination if you are dismissed whilst ‘shielding’ following government advice, and you are able to carry out your work from home.

Can my employer reduce my salary?

Unless your employer has specified in your employment contract that it can reduce your salary, then no. If your employer proposes to reduce your pay, they must obtain your agreement. If your employer has reduced your wages without your consent, you may have a claim for unlawful deduction of wages and / or constructive dismissal if you chose to resign .

How much will I be paid on furlough leave?

This will depend on what you agree with your employer. Under the CJRS, HMRC will pay 80% of your wages (subject to a cap of £2,500). Provided your employer does not have a contractual right to reduce pay in your employment contract, if your employer intends to only pay you 80% of your wages, they would need your agreement to do so.

Will I also receive my usual commission during furlough leave?

If your commission is contractual, then yes (subject to above). If not, your employer will not have to pay you commission you would usually earn.

Watch Our Videos

Employment Law - Katie Ash on Settlement Agreements

Play video Employment Law - Katie Ash on Settlement Agreements

Katie Ash explains and answers some questions about settlement agreements.

Redundancy advice: what you need to know

Play video Redundancy advice: what you need to know

At Banner Jones Solicitors, we're here to help. Our specialist team of Employment Law Solicitors answer the most commonly asked questions about redundancy.


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