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Employment Update for Small Busineses
August 2021

Dear Subscriber

Just a brief update this month, as I am trying to clear my desk ready for my holiday starting tomrrow!  I am back on 9th August and Lindsey is minding the fort in my absence.  A quick update on the furlough scheme and some very important news relating to care staff.
Please contact me if you would like to find out a bit more about any of the subjects raised in this update or if you need any help or advice.

Please forward this email to any of your contacts who might find it of benefit.

Peter Etherington
Tel: 01664 668164


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Peter Etherington
Furlough Scheme Change
From 1st August
This is just a reminder that the employer’s contribution under the scheme increases from 10% to 20% from 1st August, with the Government’s contribution reducing from 70% to 60%.  The furlough scheme will not change again until it comes to an end on 30th September.

If you have staff on furlough still and are going to struggle take them back into their previous role on their contractual terms, then please contact us so that we can advise you on options.

COVID Vaccinations to be Compulsory
For Care Home Staff
From 11th November 2021, all care home staff in England will have to have been double jabbed. It is up to the the care home provider to ensure that nobody enters the care home unless they are double jabbed and show evidence to confirm this. There are some exceptions, however, as follows:

  • they are residents
  • they are friends or relatives of residents
  • they are providing emergency help (e.g. emergency services, or emergency maintenance)
  • they are under 18 years old
  • they can provide evidence that they cannot be vaccinated for clinical reasons

Care home providers are asked to encourage staff and others to get their jabs. They will need to have their first jab by no later than 16th September to allow an 8-week gap between doses, so as to meet the 11th November deadline.

We are still waiting for further guidance, but clearly one concern is what to do with staff who refuse to be vaccinated and are not exempt. I expect that this would give reasonable grounds for dismissal, but we need to wait for further guidance in the hope that this will be clarified.

In the meantime, we would advise you to notify your staff of this legislation, encourage them to have their jabs ASAP and provide as much information as you can relating to the benefits of vaccination and how they can get their jabs.

National Minimum and Living Wage
The current National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates are:

  • £8.91 per hour for workers aged 23 and over
  • £8.36 per hour for workers aged 21 to 22
  • £6.56 per hour for workers aged 18 to 20
  • £4.62 per hour for workers aged 16 and 17
  • £4.30 per hour for apprentices under 19 and those over 19 in their first year*

*N.B. Apprentices over 19 and who have completed at least one year are entitled to the appropriate rate for their age.