The UK unemployment figure exceeded two million in April; the highest level on record. Almost daily, major businesses are filing for administration in what seems like unparalleled numbers.
The UK Government has implemented unprecedented, financial interventions since March in order to try to avoid a lasting, economic depression. What is clear is that there is no quick or easy fix, particularly given that a vaccine may take years. It may even be beyond our scientific and medical capability.
Even the combination of interest free loans, capital grants, deferred tax payments, suspension of business rates and salary grants are no substitute to a business’ ability to trade. The mental health of so many people in isolation is equally unsustainable for a prolonged period of time.
Re-opening the UK’s economy is critical, but getting this wrong means an exponentially worse set of circumstances. The focus of every employer must therefore be on the safety of their workers so that the spread and threat of the virus is controlled and managed effectively.
There are some people who should not be returning to work at this stage and an employers should think very carefully before making requirements of employees in certain categories. The Government guidance should again be considered and consultation should take place with unions, representatives or individuals themselves where appropriate.
Where in doubt, communicating with employees and seeking the right advice is critical if businesses are going to make reopening sustainable and successful.
For further information and advice, please contact Employment Law Partner Joe Nicholls on 0117 943 4820 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Wards Solicitors remains open for business during the national lockdown and we are taking on new cases. We are available for video call and telephone meetings but cannot currently offer face to face meetings with clients except in some specific emergency situations and at court hearings.
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