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09.04.20 – Furlough FAQ’s Updated

COVID 19 – FAQ’s on Furlough Leave

Our FAQ’s have been updated below to answer further questions you may have about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and Furlough Leave.

 

Can I take annual leave during Furlough Leave?

We know many of you have contacted us with questions about your holidays and your entitlement during Furlough Leave. This is still an area that we are waiting further clarification on from the Government. Although ACAS has updated its guidance to state that employees can request to take leave during furlough, we are not yet clear of the impact this could have on claiming a grant for a period of Furlough Leave under CJRS. It is also not clear if holidays during Furlough Leave would be paid at 80% or 100%. As soon as we receive further guidance on annual leave, we will communicate this to you.

 

What will I get paid?

For salaried employees (both full and part time), you will receive 80% of your gross salary as at 28 February 2020, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month (subject to statutory tax, NI and pension contributions).

If your pay varies from month to month, we will pay you the higher of these two calculations:

  • earnings for the same month in the previous year or your average monthly earnings from the 2019-2020 tax year, up to £2,500 per month.

If you have not been employed for 12 months, we will calculate your pay using your average monthly earnings since your employment began.

By agreeing to be placed on Furlough Leave you have waived any entitlement to further remuneration during this period of leave.

Please note that we have a large number of enquires on pay at the moment. We do understand that you may be confused about how your pay has been calculated. Please bear with us whilst we work through these and communicate our response through HR.  Our utmost priorities at the moment are ensuring that staff are paid what they are eligible for and avoiding redundancies.

We are still in the process of completing our application through the CJRS therefore we have not received any funding at present to cover your wages as we will have to claim this back from HMRC. If you are opted in to pension automatic enrollment, your minimum employer pension contributions will be paid in the normal way.

 

Who can I contact whilst I am on Furlough?

Please ensure that HR (HR@malhotragroup.co.uk)  has up-to-date contact details for you so that you may be contacted during Furlough. If you become sick while on Furlough, you are required to notify HR of your absence. This information will then be sent to payroll for processing your pay.

 

These FAQ’s are correct as of 9 April 2020. Please see website for further updates.

                                                                                                                                                                     

07.04.20 – Furlough FAQ’s Updated

COVID 19 – FAQ’s on Furlough Leave

The government has updated the guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme since our last published FAQ’s. The full guidance can be found here:https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme . Our FAQ’s have been updated below to incorporate the new guidance where applicable to our furloughed employees.

 

Do I need to return my furlough agreement to HR?

Yes, it is mandatory for you to return your signed agreement as we must keep evidence that we have notified employees of their furlough status in writing and keep the record of that written notification for five years.

When does my period of furlough commence?

Claims for furlough leave will be started from the date that you finished work and started furlough, not when the decision made, or when you were written to confirm your furloughed status.

Can I be furloughed more than once?

Yes, you may be furloughed multiple times, but each separate instance must be for a minimum period of 3 consecutive weeks. HR will notify you if there is an intention to take you off furlough leave.

Can I take another job whilst I have been furloughed?

Yes you may, however you will need to seek our permission as per your contract of employment if you intend to take another job. You must also notify us as to how many hours you will be working for this employer, and what you will be paid.

What is the new guidance on SSP, “shielding” and care responsibilities?

We cannot furlough someone who is in receipt of SSP, however we can furlough someone who is “shielding” (i.e. extremely vulnerable and had a letter from NHS) but only if they are unable to work from home and we would otherwise have to make them redundant.  We may also furlough employees who are unable to work because they have caring responsibilities resulting from coronavirus. For example, employees that need to look after children can be furloughed.

 Fixed term contracts

If you are on a fixed term contract, you can be furloughed. Your contract can be renewed or extended during the furlough period without breaking the terms of the scheme. Please contact HR if you are on a fixed term contract so that we can issue an extension of your contract until the scheme ends.

 Communicating with you

We will continue to email any significant announcements to you and updates will also be posted on the website under the ‘staff updates’ page.

 

These FAQ’s are correct as of 7 April 2020. Please see website for further updates.

 

01.04.20 – Furlough FAQ’s

COVID 19 – FAQ’s on Furlough Leave

What does it mean if I have been put on ‘furlough leave’?

When we use the word ‘furlough’ in correspondence it means temporary leave of absence from work. Furlough leave has been introduced by the Government during the covid-19/coronavirus pandemic so that a proportion of paid leave can been offered to employees which keeps them on our payroll whilst they are unable to work. 

Who can be furloughed?

We are only able to furlough employees who were on the PAYE payroll on 28 February 2020. These include:

  • atypical employees, including those on casual or zero hour contracts;
  • employees who were placed on unpaid leave prior to 28 February 2020 cannot be furloughed;
  • employees on sick leave or who are self-isolating can only be furloughed once this period of leave is brought to an end;
  • employees who are shielding in line with public health guidance can be furloughed; and
  • employees on family leave such as maternity, paternity, adoption or shared parental leave can only be furloughed once this period of leave is brought to an end.

  Is there a going to be a gap in my employment if I am furloughed?

There will be no gap in your employment therefore you do not need to use holidays or sickness absence to cover this period. If you are currently on sick leave, and then become fit to work, you can be considered for furlough when your sick note expires. This includes if you have been advised to self-isolate.

I have been put on furlough, does this mean my role is redundant?

No, if you have been placed on furlough, you have been kept on the payroll. This is different to being laid off without pay or being made redundant.

What work can I do if I am furloughed?

Whilst furloughed, you cannot carry out work for us as your employer. 

As a furloughed employee you can undertake training if required to do so and you will receive at least the National Minimum Wage/National Living Wage for this.

What will happen to my annual leave?

We know many of you have contacted us with questions about your holidays and your entitlement. Unfortunately, we are unable to answer these questions in full at this stage. Once we have further clarification from the Government on holidays through furlough, we will update you via our website.

Can I still keep in touch with my work colleagues during the period of furlough? Can I set up a Facebook or WhatsApp group for my team to join?

You can keep in touch with your colleagues on a personal level as you would have normally outside of work. However, you must not do any work for the Company in any capacity during this time. Please also make sure you follow the normal guidelines regarding social media. You should also regularly check our website where you will find the most up to date information and answers to your questions.

Can I volunteer if I have been furloughed?

Yes. The Government has confirmed that those on furlough will also be permitted to volunteer to help the NHS during the coronavirus outbreak without risking their pay.

Can I continue any additional jobs for other organisations?

Each job should be treated separately. If we are not your only employer, you can be furloughed for each job, and the cap will apply to each individually. Therefore, you can be furloughed from one job whilst continuing to work another job.

What will I be paid?

For salaried employees (both full and part time), you will receive 80% of your gross salary as at 28 February 2020, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month (subject to statutory tax, NI and pension contributions).

If your pay varies from month to month, we will pay you the higher of these two calculations:

  • earnings for the same month in the previous year or your average monthly earnings from the 2019-2020 tax year, up to £2,500 per month.

If you have not been employed for 12 months, we will calculate using your average monthly earnings since your employment began.

If I am self-isolating, can I be furloughed?

If you are currently on sick leave or self-isolating due to Covid-19 you would be entitled to SSP, but you may be furloughed after this. You can only claim the furlough payment if you have been furloughed for at least three weeks.

The guidance has specified that those who are ‘shielding’ for 12 weeks in line with public health guidance may also be furloughed however this will only apply if you fall in the category of extremely vulnerable (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19 ). This means employees who are extremely vulnerable (for example, due to organ transplants, lung cancer, severe chest conditions or immunosuppressed conditions) and who have been notified by the NHS to isolate for 12 weeks. Please discuss with your line manager if you have been notified that you are within this category.

Will I be rotated with other staff that are not furloughed?

We may take the decision to take you off furlough and bring you back and put your colleagues back on, subject to you being furloughed for a minimum of a three-week block. This may be also necessary if we require support in our Care business to support the Homes across Prestwick Care.

When will I be paid? 

You will receive your wages on your usual pay date.

How will I know when I am able to return to work and will no longer be on furlough?

We are working through the process of furlough and will communicate on how we will contact you with regards to returning to work and the relevant notice. 

Will there be work for me to return to after my furlough leave?

Hopefully yes but we cannot commit to this until we know when Government restrictions have been lifted and what impact it will have on the business.

Can you be in and out of furlough depending on work demands?

Yes – if work increases again, people will be taken off furlough on a need basis and this will be communicated through HR.

How long is this expected to last?

The Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is initially set to run until the end of May 2020, but the Government has said that the scheme will be extended if necessary. We are keeping the situation under review and will keep you updated as the coronavirus crisis unfolds in the coming months.

If I have a question about the pay / wages I have received, what do I need to do?

In the first instance please email your queries through to HR (HR@malhotragroup.co.uk)  and they will liaise with the relevant department.

The HR and Payroll team are now all working from home and are working hard to answer all your queries and will respond to your email as soon as possible.  Please be assured that both the Payroll and HR teams are doing all they can to support your queries.  

Communicating with you

We will continue to email any significant announcements to you and updates will also be posted on the website under the ‘staff updates’ page.

These FAQ’s are correct as of 1 April 2020. Please see website for further updates.

27.03.20 – Employee Update – Furlough

This update is correct as of 27 March 2020. Please continue to view the company website to obtain the most recent employee updates. 

Firstly, we would like to thank you for your patience as we are aware that many of you will have been awaiting confirmation of whether your employment would be considered under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). The government released guidance yesterday evening that provided the clarification we were awaiting to implement the scheme to protect your employment.

We therefore confirm that we will be utilising the CJRS to be able to pay employees up to 80% of their wages if they were employed by us prior to 28 February 2020. Regrettably, we will not be in a position to subsidise the shortfall of 20%. We will be sending letters to all those eligible for the CJRS today by email and post. If you have not yet received a letter by Tuesday 31 March 2020, please contact HR (HR@malhotragroup.co.uk). If you have been asked to sign an agreement, we appreciate that it may be difficult to print, therefore you may take a picture, sign and then send this back to HR via email as a photograph until you are able to send a scanned or hard copy.

Please see www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-guidance-for-employees#furloughed-workers for further details of the scheme. To qualify for the scheme, you should not undertake any work for the Company whilst you are furloughed and must ensure you comply with the government guidelines on the scheme. You are permitted to volunteer (unpaid) whilst furloughed. 

If you are eligible for the scheme, we will pay you up to 80% of your wages, subject to the statutory cap of £2,500 (minus any applicable tax, pension and NI deductions). We confirm that you will continue to remain employed whilst furloughed. As your take home pay will be reduced as a result of these changes, you may be eligible for support through the benefits system, including Universal Credit (https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit).

You will not be classified as furloughed whilst absent from work on sick leave or self-isolating. In these circumstances, you would be subject to our Company sick pay policy.

The CJRS is initially set to run until the end of May 2020, however the Government has indicated that the scheme will be extended if necessary. The Company position will therefore be reviewed on a month by month basis and we will communicate any changes in circumstances to you and would encourage you to continue to check our website for staff updates. Your welfare and safety are paramount at this time so please follow all government guidance in relation to Covid-19/Coronavirus. If you have any queries about this notice, please contact HR@malhotragroup.co.uk.

26.03.20 – Employee Update

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Additional Information Factsheet

We have previously provided information regarding the COVID-19 outbreak including additional policies and information to keep our valued employees up to date with the developing situation in respect of the global pandemic. We will continue to maintain the employee website domains with the most up to date guidance from the UK Government and the NHS.

We will provide additional guidance as the situation evolves. The latest information contained within this document is accurate as of the published date. Please always check you are following the latest advice.

Latest Guidance/Information

The UK Government have introduced emergency legislation into Parliament (the COVID-19 Bill). This will enable them to offer further financial support to those affected by the pandemic. A financial support package has already been announced by the Chancellor, however as the crisis continues further announcements and measures will likely be taken. We will update you on those relevant to you as they are published.

The latest information on the Government’s COVID-19 strategy and action plan can be accessed here: https://gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-action-plan 

The Prime Minister is providing daily updates and is regularly accompanied by the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Science Advisor to update the nation on developments regarding potential treatments and the development of a vaccine.

If you suspect that you may have COVID-19 or display any of the symptoms (such as dry cough, fever or other flu/cold like symptoms) then please visit https://nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ for further information about the virus and what you should do.

For advice in the following areas, you may wish to use the following resources:

This information is correct as of 26 March 2020.

20.03.20 – Employee Update

Hello everyone

As many of you will have seen on the news release by the Prime Minister late this afternoon we have been instructed to close all of our bars and restaurants from this evening with no certainty as yet as to when we will be permitted to reopen them. For now our hotels may remain open so we are undertaking our own measures for those we operate.

In Care it remains very much business as usual and the Group Board would like to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to all of our care managers and staff who are going about their duties in such an admirable way in such difficult circumstances.

The Chancellor has understandably and quite rightly released a number of significant financial measures to help to keep businesses in business, and to keep their staff in pay and in employment. The Group Board are to hold meetings this weekend to discuss and agree upon a plan to consider these measures in order that we remain a robust and viable business Group – not just for the here and now but for many many years to come. In doing so we wish to reach out to all of our staff at these troubling times to let you know that we will do all within our power to ensure we listen to, and support you, at these very troubling times.

We will communicate with you again as soon as we have more to share with you so please continue to check our website for staff updates. Meanwhile please stay safe, follow the cleanliness advice you are all now familiar with, and look out for each other. We are a family business, let’s pull together as a family to help us get through the weeks and months ahead.

With best wishes

Malhotra Group Board & Family

19.03.20 – Staff Updates

The Board are extremely encouraged that there have been over 800 viewings by staff to both the Malhotra Group and Prestwick Care websites since our staff updates commenced on 13 March 2020.

We urge you to share these updates with your colleagues (however these should not be shared externally), and we will keep posting daily updates in response to Government measures that impact our workforce and the Group.

We are truly inspired and grateful by the magnificent effort that our employees have made to keep our businesses running at this very difficult time.

If you have any HR related queries in respect of our employee updates, please contact HR@malhotragroup.co.uk

Last updated 19 March 2020

19.03.20 – Employee Update

Our employee notice has been updated as a result of the latest Government announcement yesterday on Covid-19. This update is correct as of 19 March 2020. Please continue to view the company website to obtain updates throughout this difficult time. 

Childcare and Dependency concerns

We are aware that the school closures will have a significant impact on our workforce. We are following Government guidelines with regards to parental/dependant leave.  A ‘dependant’ generally means a spouse, civil partner, child, parent or a person living in the employee’s household as part of the family. Please see www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-51643556 and https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-51956279 for further information regarding school closures.

Meetings

Please cancel all face to face meetings on sites. Instead, opt for videoconferencing, tele-conferencing or use of the internet/e-mail where possible.

Employees who cannot get to work because of severe disruptions to public transport

It is possible that travel restrictions could be put in place, or public transport may be suspended, during a pandemic virus. Employees should make every effort to attend work in all circumstances and allow extra time for their journey, making alternative travel arrangements where appropriate.

New policies

We have put together a new policy specifically for Covid-19 however this should be read in conjunction with the related policies outlined in the document. These policies can be accessed via your line manager.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your ongoing support and ask for your understanding and compliance with the new measures announced, as we recognise that they may cause significant disruption.

Further updates will be communicated to you in due course as the government provides us with additional guidelines.

This update is correct as of 19 March 2020. Please keep in touch with your line manager for any changes.

18.03.20 – Employee Update

Dear Colleagues

Like you I am reading the ongoing news updates and press releases regarding the covid-19 virus with added concern, and at unprecedented times like this it is only natural that we look upon the future with a degree of uncertainty.

The ongoing and longer term viability of our business remains a key factor for us, as of course does the employment, safety and welfare of our staff. We are therefore taking important measures that support this. For example some of this involves supporting home working arrangements where viable, instigating the multi-tasking of certain staff members where transferable skills can be used to provide support and resourcing where most needed, and implementing varied operational procedures that help to meet the ongoing needs and concerns of our residents, customers and staff.

Within Malhotra Group we have a diverse business encompassing Care, Leisure and Property. On the one hand this provides us with some protection given we have differing income streams, but similarly also provides us with a more varied level of operational issues that tend to need differing approaches and considerations.

I want you to know that as a business my fellow directors and I are in regular contact with one another along with our senior management team, and where ever possible quick and effective decisions are being made to ensure that we remain responsive to ever evolving front line operational and resourcing needs.

We are also taking the best advice possible from our professional and healthcare advisors, so please know with some level of certainty that what we are doing conforms with all best practices, procedures and Government guidelines. Some of this is due to be cascaded to you later today/tomorrow from your line manager.

In closing I would ask that as best you can please remain calm and keep doing what you do best. Please follow all cleanliness and isolation advice that the Government is issuing, please undertake the online Coronavirus test that we have issued to you this week, and please be assured that we are doing and will continue to do all we can to support you at these challenging times.

Thank you

Atul Malhotra

17.03.20 – Employee Update

Following the most recent developments on Covid-19, please find below our latest employee update. This update is correct as of 17 March 2020. Please continue to view the company website to obtain updates throughout this difficult time. 

We would like to make you aware that we as a business continue to plan for any eventualities that may arise.

Our priority is ensuring that our employees, residents and customers are fully supported at this time and we will be continually updating you with any actions being taken by the business that could affect you.

Reporting

If you are affected by an illness that you believe could be connected to Covid – 19 or live with anyone who has a cough or temperature,  you must report this to your line manager, who will then escalate this to the HR department.

Sickness Policy

Please continue to follow the sickness procedure. You must contact your line manager as per company policy on each working day of your absence. Failure to follow the company policy may result in further action.

Action

If you become unwell at work, live with anyone who has a cough or temperature ,  believe you have been exposed to the Covid – 19 and/or have recently come back from an area affected by Covid – 19, you should:

  • report your concerns to your line manager
  • stay at least 2 metres (7 feet) away from other people
  • go to a room or area behind a closed door
  • avoid touching anything
  • cough or sneeze into a tissue and put it in a bin, or if you do not have tissues, cough and sneeze into the crook of your elbow
  • use a separate bathroom from others if possible

You should then use your own mobile phone to call either:

  • 111, for NHS advice; or
  • 999, if you are seriously ill or injured or you feel that your life is at risk

After you have informed your line manager, please advise the operator of:

  • your symptoms
  • which country you have returned from in the last 14 days

Further updates will be communicated to you in due course as the government provides us with additional guidelines. If you have any concerns on the matter, please contact your line manager or Human Resources.

This update is correct as of 17 March 2020. Please keep in touch with your line manager for any changes.