UK candidates' covid-19 information

We adhere to the regional government and local health authority advice in the UK and update our information weekly accordingly.


FAQ's
What should I do if I have any covid-19 symptoms?

If you live alone and you have symptoms of covid-19, however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home. Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home.

Use the
NHS 111 online coronavirus service if you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, your condition gets worse or your symptoms do not get better after 7 days. Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

 

If I have a suspected or confirmed case of covid-19 or I am expected to self-isolate will I be paid, what will I get paid and how long for?

Usually if you are sick for more than 3 consecutive days you may be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (“SSP”) provided your average earnings are at least £118 per week and you have not already received the maximum amount of SSP of 28 weeks. SSP is currently paid at £95.85 per week. However, with effect from 13 March 2020, the government introduced emergency regulations that mean if you are self-isolating to prevent the spread of covid-19 you will be able to claim SSP subject to qualifying for SSP.

What happens if I cannot get a fit note?

A fit note is only needed after the first 7 days of continuous illness (including non-working days), until then you can self-certificate, after which employers may ask for evidence of sickness absence.

People unable to work for more than 7 days because of coronavirus (covid-19) can obtain an isolation note through a new online service. The isolation notes will provide employees with evidence that the employee has been advised to self-isolate due to coronavirus, either because they have symptoms or they live with someone who has symptoms, and so cannot work. Isolation notes can be obtained without contacting a doctor and this will reduce the pressure on GP surgeries and prevent people needing to leave their homes.

The notes can be accessed through the NHS website and NHS 111 online, as well as the NHS app.

After answering a few questions, an isolation note will be emailed to the user. If they don’t have an email address, they can have the note sent to a trusted family member or friend, or directly to their employer. The service can also be used to generate an isolation note on behalf of someone else.

If you cannot get a fit note, you should let your line manager know when the first day of absence commenced and keep in touch so the whole period of absence is accurately recorded.

If the company where I’m temping is instructed to close or to adopt remote working – will I be paid, what will I get paid and how long for?

If the company where you are temping temporarily closes, you may be asked to work at another location or from home - if this is possible. Should you continue to work, you will be paid as normal. If you are no longer working, your assignment will come to an end as normal. Once your client site has resumed normal business practice, it may be possible for you to return.

If I am living with another person who is instructed to self-isolate – can I come into work?

No. Currently, government advice is that if you share a household with anyone who displays symptoms you must self-isolate for 14 days.

If the company where I’m temping closes, and I am well, can I take an assignment elsewhere or do I have to self-isolate?

Yes, you can take another assignment unless the customer has adopted a policy that prevents this. However, the government has asked all those who can work from home should do so.

Can I take paid holiday?

Subject to the amount of holiday you have accrued, you may be eligible to request holiday.

What is Statutory Sick Pay?

Statutory sick pay is paid to employees who are too ill to work. It is paid by the Company for up to 28 weeks. Under normal circumstances to qualify for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) you must:

- be classed as an employee and have done some work for your employer have been ill for at least 4 days in a row (including non-working days) earn an average of at least £118 per week

- tell your employer you’re sick before their deadline - or within 7 days if they do not have one

You will not qualify if you:

- have received the maximum amount of SSP (28 weeks)

- receive Statutory Maternity Pay

Is statutory sick pay different for covid-19 related sickness absence?

Yes, if you are staying at home because of covid-19 you can now claim SSP. This includes individuals who are caring for people in the same household and therefore have been advised to do a household quarantine and self-isolate. SSP is currently paid at £95.85 per week. You still need to have average earnings of at least £118 per week and have not already received the maximum amount of SSP of 28 weeks to quality for SSP.

SSP is paid by your employer in the same way as your normal wages. Tax and National Insurance will be deducted.

What is the qualifying day for SSP and covid-19 related absence?

The Government hamade a change so that SSP is to be paid from day 1, rather than day 4, of your absence from work if you are absent from work due to sickness or need to stay at home due to covid-19. This will apply retrospectively from 13 March.

How do I let you know that I am unable to attend work?

You must tell your designated consultant the first day (before your normal start time) if you are ill or required to self-isolate. You can self-certify for the first 7 days, and then you will need to provide a medical certificate.

People unable to work for more than 7 days because of coronavirus (covid-19) can obtain an isolation note through a new online service. The isolation notes will provide employees with evidence that the employee has been advised to self-isolate due to coronavirus, either because they have symptoms or they live with someone who has symptoms, and so cannot work. Isolation notes can be obtained without contacting a doctor and this will reduce the pressure on GP surgeries and prevent people needing to leave their homes.

The notes can be accessed through the NHS website and NHS 111 online, as well as the NHS app.

After answering a few questions, an isolation note will be emailed to the user. If they don’t have an email address, they can have the note sent to a trusted family member or friend, or directly to their employer. The service can also be used to generate an isolation note on behalf of someone else.

If you cannot get a fit note, you should let your line manager know when the first day of absence commenced and keep in touch so the whole period of absence is accurately recorded.

What if I'm not eligible for SSP?

If you're not eligible for SSP, you may be able to apply for Employment and Support Allowance.

Visit the Government website for further details: www.gov.uk/employment-support-allowance

Universal Credit - You can now claim this over the phone if you're unable to attend a Job Centre due to self-isolation. Emergency Universal Credit loans are now available to people affected by coronavirus. Visit the Government website for further details https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit 

Do I need proof to travel to work?

No, whilst the government has asked that those who can work from home should work from home, there are many that cannot and are still travelling to work. This is supported by the government, but only where it is absolutely necessary. Therefore, our temporary workers at this stage do not need any proof of their need to work or to explain their travel. We are monitoring the situation closely and if further restrictions are put in place this may change and we will update our process accordingly.

I am considered a “key worker”, can I have proof?

Some organisations are providing their “key workers” with letters to ensure that if further restrictions are put in place, they can continue to travel to and from work, however this is not required at this stage.

We’re hearing different things, it is confusing

We encourage you to keep abreast of the situation and the most reliable source is your local healthcare provider briefings through a government source:

Is there any work-from-home support available?

Click here for guidance on working from home, which includes some tips on staying productive, and how to maintain good mental and physical health.

 

 

What is furlough?

Furlough is ‘temporary leave’ that forms part of the UK Government’s Job Retention Scheme (JRS). This scheme is a temporary scheme designed to help employers whose operations have been severely affected by covid-19, to retain their employees and protect the UK economy. All employers are eligible to claim under the scheme if they choose to and the government recognises different businesses will face different impacts. Further information can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme.

Who can apply for furlough?
All UK employers with a UK payroll can apply, including businesses, charities, recruitment agencies and public authorities.
Is furlough mandatory?

No, it is not mandatory. Whether to use this scheme is at the employer’s discretion, they can opt to use the JRS, lay off workers with no or reduced pay, or terminate the worker’s employment (redundancy).

How does furlough work?

Whilst we are awaiting further guidance from the government on more complex matters, the basic criteria are as follows:

- You must have been on a PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020

- Payment will be 80% of pay, based on the higher amount of the calculations below (up to a capped amount of £2,500):

   - The same month’s earning from the previous year.

   - Average monthly earnings in the 2019-20 tax year.

   - If you have been on the payroll less than 1 year, the average of your monthly earnings since your started work.

   - End clients will have to write to us to confirm that they wish us to furlough all or some of their temporary workers.

   - You will need to agree to being ‘furloughed’ and remain on the payroll for the foreseeable future.

   - Furlough must last a minimum of 3 continuous weeks and the scheme currently expires on 31 October 2020. 

   - You may not carry out any work for us throughout the period of furlough.

   - You may take part in volunteer work or training as long as it does not generate revenue for us.

If you are employed or pay-rolled through an umbrella company you must also contact them with respect to the JRS, as you are not on our PAYE payroll and we cannot offer the scheme to you.