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.

 

The COVID-19 situation is evolving rapidly and we have created this page to help answer your questions. As a business we are also aware of our responsibility to the British workforce as the government begins to reopen society. We have a taskforce in place which, working within our global organisation’s framework and in line with learnings from around the world, is preparing our employees to return to the workplace. More information on our return to work plans will be shared below in due course.

 

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:

ManpowerGroup has also joined forces with other industry leaders to create an HR services alliance. Together, the industry – as the world’s largest private sector employer and labour market expert – endeavours to make a vital contribution to the process of preparing for the new normal, and expedite getting people safely back to work and businesses and economies running again.

You can see the full report here.

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.
  • All government guidelines and protocols will be followed to ensure our people return to the workplace safely.

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. 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 clinically vulnerable or clinically extremely vulnerable?

The government has identified certain groups of people as being clinically 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, clinically 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 ‘clinically 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)

The Job Retention Scheme enables us to designate employees or associates as ‘furloughed’ workers as an alternative to laying off employees or ending assignments.  The scheme is intended to reimburse employers for 80% of furloughed workers wage costs (up to £2,500 per month) until the end of July where their work has ceased as a result of COVID-19. Any furloughed employees or associates are not permitted to do any work for the company or client to whom they were assigned.

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.