(courtesy of NABCP)
The Prime Minister informed us on Monday that non-essential businesses can start to open from 15
June provided the necessary safety measures are put in place. This does not include dentists, hairdressers and close contact occupations.
From August, employers currently using the furlough scheme will have more flexibility to bring their furloughed employees back to work part time whilst still receiving support from the scheme.
This will run for three months from August through to the end of October. Employers will be asked to pay a percentage towards the salaries of their furloughed staff. The employer payments will substitute the contribution the government is currently making, ensuring that staff continue to receive 80% of their salary, up to £2,500 a month.
Can they ask me to go back in part-time?
Not, currently, if you have been furloughed and they are using the government scheme to pay you. It only allows companies to furlough people for all of their normal hours, and bans them from asking you to do any work while you are off.
But if your company has not claimed government money to cover your wages, it can ask you to resume work part-time. Make sure you understand the terms of the request – your employer cannot adjust your contract without your permission, so if it is asking you to change your hours you should get advice.
More specific details and information around its implementation will be made available in the next few days.
The prime minister said outdoor markets and showrooms will be able to start trading again in England from 1 June - so long as they keep customers safe.
All other non-essential retailers - including shops selling clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, books, and electronics, plus tailors, auction houses, photography studios, and indoor markets - can follow suit two weeks later, from 15 June.
Employers will face "spot checks" to make sure they are implementing social distancing, and have been told they must complete a risk assessment after consultation with trade unions and workers.
Firms have been told to consider a number of measures to reassure customers and staff, including:
- Placing a poster in their windows to demonstrate awareness of the guidance
- Storing returned items for 72 hours before putting them back out on the shop floor
- Placing protective coverings on large items touched by the public such as beds or sofa
- Frequently cleaning objects and surfaces that are touched regularly, including self-checkouts, trolleys, coffee machines and betting terminals