Navigating the new normal

Coronavirus and Employment Law: what do you need to know?

All content on this page is correct as of May 7, 2020

In this week’s roundup, we examine what the evolving coronavirus pandemic could mean for employment law. We examine the impact on employees and employers, with a particular focus on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – Know How

Our Employment team are constantly reviewing the new Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and compiling their knowledge to provide you with some useful know how around the scheme. We’ve put together an update which takes a deep dive into this area of law and answers your questions on everything from the basics of the scheme, how to calculate a claim and the definition of a furloughed employee. We will be updating the content of this article as new information becomes available. However, it should be noted that the government’s position and its guidance to the scheme has been subject to substantial change as the situation has developed, and may continue to do so. To read our latest knowledge on this scheme please click here.


The Bates Wells Employment team have been busy hosting a number of webinars over the last few weeks, giving listeners handy tips and advice on all things employment law related during the coronavirus crisis. If you missed out on these live webinars, then not to worry, you can listen to the recordings at any time that works for you! Take a look below at the team’s latest webinars. (Please note that these webinars were all correct at the time of recording).

Employment law implications of coronavirus

We took a look at all the employment law implications of the coronavirus pandemic. Click here to register for a recording of this webinar.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

As the coronavirus situation escalated, we saw a range of legal questions about furloughing emerge from charities across the sector. This webinar explored the latest updates to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (as of the beginning of April). The presentation was followed by a Q&A. Click here to register for a recording of this webinar.

Managing through the COVID-19 crisis

Our Impact Economy team recently held a webinar with the aim of supporting impact driven organisations through this challenging time. Along with others from across the firm, our Employment team gave listeners an insight and guidance into various approaches to employment and staffing, including negotiating temporary decreases in salaries and supporting your people. Click here to register for a recording of this webinar.

Finance and Your Charity: Navigating the Government Schemes; Managing Solvency

With charities coming under immense financial pressures as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic, last month Bates Wells partnered with NCVO and CFG on a webinar to discuss the financing options currently available, employment issues, and managing through the crisis. Click here to register for a recording of this webinar.

Key issues for charities in public service delivery: procurement and contracts

Organisations delivering public services are facing extremely serious challenges due to COVID-19. From drastic changes in the volume and nature of demand, to having to adapt or even suspend their services, many have had to quickly adapt. The government’s recent Procurement Policy Notes encouraged all contracting authorities to support suppliers – but what did the guidance mean in practice, and what steps should suppliers take to manage their contractual obligations? In partnership with the NCVO, we answered these questions in a recent webinar. Please click here to register for your recording of this webinar.

Could a ‘hardship fund’ help provide critical support for your employees during the current crisis? 

As the impact of the coronavirus worsens, many people are facing increased financial hardship and are at risk of falling into, or have already fallen into, poverty. We have recently received a number of enquiries from individuals, companies and charities asking how they might be able to support employees and former employees in financial need, as well as others who are facing dire financial circumstances. While it is heartening to see the scale of the Government’s intervention, (for example, the launch of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme) it is unlikely to be sufficient in preventing some individuals from falling into financial hardship or poverty. We explored this issue further in a recent update. Click here to read more.

Announced changes to the Working Time Regulations – what do they mean for employers and workers?

Under the Working Time Regulations 1998 (WTR), workers are only allowed to carry over up to 1.6 weeks of leave to the next holiday year, at the employer’s discretion. The remaining four weeks to which every worker is entitled cannot be carried over and are ‘lost’ if untaken, except where the worker has been unable to take them due to long-term sickness absence or family-related leave. The Government has now amended the WTR to allow workers to carry forward the four weeks of annual leave that would otherwise have been lost where they are unable to take it due to coronavirus. Our team recently provided a useful update and summary on these changes. If you missed it, then click here to read our thoughts.  

Coronavirus – what is going to happen to my employment tribunal claims?

Regardless of which side of the claim you fall on, if you have an upcoming hearing you may be concerned about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. A few weeks ago our team set out a brief summary of recent guidance from the Employment Tribunal and what you can expect to happen to any pending hearings. Don’t worry if you missed this update, you can click here to access the full article.

People Management: comments on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Insights from Paul Seath, partner in our Employment team, have been featured in People Management’s coverage of the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. In the article, Paul explained how the scheme is ‘extremely welcome and will undoubtedly save many jobs’, but highlighted the need for greater clarity from the government with respect to how it will work in practical terms. Want to read more of Paul’s thoughts on this topic? Click here for the full article. (Please note our latest guidance on this scheme can be found here).

This information is necessarily of a general nature and doesn’t constitute legal advice. This is not a substitute for formal legal advice, given in the context of full information under an engagement with Bates Wells.

All content on this page is correct as of May 7, 2020.

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