ManpowerGroup hopes you, your friends and family are remaining safe and well at this turbulent time. We all have a part to play in this national emergency. Our teams are working tirelessly to combat the challenges that COVID-19 throws at us. We are aware that there are many unknowns and questions which arise everyday as we hear from the UK government and the NHS.

 

By adhering to government guidelines we will be keeping our colleagues and communities safe, as well as protecting loved ones. We have critical frontline workers within our business supporting the supply of vital logistics and social care contracts. We also have numerous teams who play key roles in the employment of tens of thousands across the UK. We are doing our very best to continue to offer ongoing support where it’s needed, translate the new government policies and fill specific roles which are currently in much-needed demand. (i.e. deliveries, supermarket teams).

 

The COVID-19 situation is evolving rapidly and we have created this page to help answer your questions. We will be frequently updating this page so please check regularly for the latest guidance

 

Mark Cahill
Managing Director, ManpowerGroup UK

General information and useful links

As a business, we are monitoring the situation extremely closely and have created a UK based response team who feeds directly into the taskforces created by ManpowerGroup at both a regional and global level.

Please also continue to refer to the following websites for the latest information:

What is the company doing in response to the COVID-19 outbreak?

  • The safety, health and wellbeing of all our employees is a top priority. Our primary aim is to ensure that our employees remain fit and healthy. We are therefore providing some basic information and signposting detailing where they can obtain further information from healthcare professionals.
  • We have arranged additional hand cleaning products to be made available at all our locations and for clear signage to be displayed to prompt good hygiene practices.
  • Should an outbreak occur, contingency measures are being prepared to ensure that client and candidate service is not impacted.

More information on Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

SSP is now available not just for those who are either unable to work through illness but also those who need to self-isolate due to COVID-19.  The government announced this will be made available from the first day of absence from work. We have decided to implement this change ahead of any final legislative changes to reduce the impact to our employees. Any days owing for relevant absence already processed will automatically be back paid via payroll.

Those eligible for sick pay must usually provide a ‘Fit Note’ for any absence after the first seven calendar days. For COVID-19 related absence (self-isolation and/or sickness), NHS 111 online now provides an ‘Isolation note’ and this should be provided instead of a fit note using the relevant candidate normal absence reporting process. Any other non COVID-19 absence will require a relevant fit note in line with normal process.

What happens to our associates if our client closes their site or work ceases as a result of COVID-19?

We are committed to finding the best solution for our candidates/contractors in this situation and will discuss this with our clients. This could include working from home where possible or utilising the government’s job retention scheme, for furloughed workers (see below).

What is the government advising for those who are vulnerable or extremely vulnerable?

The Government has identified certain groups of people as being vulnerable: the over 70s, those with underlying health conditions (such that they need a flu jab each year on health grounds) and those who are pregnant.

These groups have been advised to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures, including working from home. Where possible we will allow such employees to work from home, where necessary engaging with our clients to identify if this is feasible. Where this is not viable, vulnerable people are permitted to still come to work as normal but may want to take additional precautions to avoid large gatherings and public transport peak times. If employees do not wish to come to work, they will not be entitled to sick pay unless they are self-isolating for other reasons (displaying symptoms or living with someone displaying symptoms) or have otherwise been signed off work with a fit note. We can discuss other arrangements such as unpaid leave or holiday.

Some individuals have also been identified as ‘extremely vulnerable’ and are now strongly advised to self-isolate for at least 12 weeks. These individuals will be contacted by NHS letter to advise whether they fall into this category and this letter should be used instead of a fit note in order to claim SSP for the self-isolation period if they are unable to work from home.

More information on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furloughed workers)

We are pleased that necessary provision is being brought forward that will help meet the employment costs for employees who may otherwise be made redundant.

The government has now provided guidance on how this scheme will operate and we are looking at how this can best be implemented where we, as the employer, feel it is appropriate to do so. At a top level, the proposed scheme will provide funding to employers to pay up to 80% of the wages of eligible employees rather than laying them off.

There will be a cap of £2,500 per month per worker and the scheme will be open to all employers irrespective of size.

This scheme is not open to contractors. A separate scheme has been announced to support the self-employed who will be contacted by HMRC if they are eligible for a grant and directed to apply online.