Here you'll find a range of coronavirus/Covid-19 related HR and Employment resources; if you have any resources you would like to share with other colleges, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that guidance documents have been provided in good faith, are accurate at the date of issue and may require tailoring to your college's particular circumstances.
Documents are generally saved in date order with the most recent first; however, as Government guidance is normally automatically updated as changes occur, these documents are placed at the top of each section. Due to the amount of information gathered over this period we have 'archived' some of the older documents, and you'll now find these towards the end of the page. Below, you will find information and links under the following headings.
- Employment Helpline
- General advice and guidance
- Reopening H&S Risk Assessment related
- Job Retention Scheme/Furlough
- Employment and T&Cs - including pay and annual leave
- Safeguarding/DBS/ID check
- Health & Safety Executive working from home guidance
- Resources - including general advice and health & wellbeing
- Useful webinars
- Archived documents/guidance
The helpline, run by Irwin Mitchell LLP, is fully operational and available for members to contact about all employment related issues, including Coronavirus/Covid-19. You can contact them here: AoC Employment Helpine
General advice, guidance and comment
- DfE - What FE colleges and providers will need to do from the start of the 2020 autumn term
- DfE - Guidance for further education and skills providers
- Govt. guidance - Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) - 12 guides
- Coronavirus: tips to help staff work and care for their children - 03 July 2020
- Irwin Mitchell blog: Do you need to include bame and obese workers in your return to work risk assessment? - 04 June 2020
- Unions set out 5 tests government and colleges must meet before staff and students can return (taken from UCU website) - 13 May 2020
- Gov.UK - Our Plan to Rebuild: The UK Government's Covid-19 recovery strategy - 12 May 2020 (watch for updates)
- Irwin Mitchell blog: New Government Guidance to get England back to work - 12 May 2020
- Irwin Mitchell - 8 tips to support staff working from home - 21 April 2020
- Irwin Mitchell summary of government's guidance update on social distancing in the workplace - 14 April 2020
- Acas - Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for employers and employees - reviewed daily
Reopening including H&S Risk Assessment related
AoC has developed a section dedicated to college reopening support which can be found here. Contained within this section are example risk assessments, many from other colleges and unions. The document below was developed by the AoC and national representatives from UCU, NEU, Unison, Unite and GMB and provides a checklist for reopening.
- Planning Guide for Further Education Colleges.pdf - 12 June 2020
Also below are reopeneing related articles by Irwin Mitchell:
- Irwin mitchell blog: Are you considering temperature checks as part of your strategy to get staff back
Job Retention Scheme/Furloughing related:
Listed below are the links to government guidance on the job retention scheme - which are automatically update. Below this are further JRS related guidance documents, advice and blogs.
- Govt. guidance - Check if you can claim for your employees' wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
- Govt. guidance - Steps to take before calculating your claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
- Govt. guidance - Check which employees you can put on furlough to use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
- Govt. guidance - Calculate how much you can claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
- HMRC - Further Treasury Direction re JRS made on 25 June 2020
- Template Flexible Furlough Letter - can be found on this Employment Resources page (26 June 2020)
- Irwin Mitchell: summary of updated JRS (includes links to a number of current Government guidance pages) - 12 June 2020
- Irwin Mitchell blog: parents returning from parental leave can be furloughed after 10 June - 10 June 2020
- Irwin Mitchell blog: Employers will not be penalised by HMRC for genuine mistakes - 09 June 2020
- Irwin Mitchell blog: Government explains how holiday entitlement and pay operate during Covid-10 (includes sections on furloughed staff and deferring holidays into another holiday year) - 15 May 2020
- Irwin Mitchell: Coronavirus - FAQs on returning to work - 14 May 2020
- Govt. guidance - claiming for wage costs through the job retention scheme - updated regularly
- Irwin Mitchell blog: FAQ on furloughed staff and redundancy - 01 May 2020
Employment and T&Cs - including pay, annual leave and sickness/SSP related:
- SSP extended to people in 'support bubbles' - 07 July 2020
- ACAS: Disciplinary and grievance procedures during coronavirus - 06 May 2020
- Irwin Mitchell article - SSP scheme extended to cover the extremely vulnerable - 20 April 2020
- Irwin Mitchell template coronavirus policy for schools and colleges - updated 06 April 2020
- Irwin Mitchell - template homeworking policy - March 2020 (note: this is a generic homeworking template policy)
Safeguarding/DBS/ID check related:
- Irwin Mitchell article on government's new safeguarding rules for schools and colleges - 09 April 2020
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): safeguarding in schools, colleges and other providers - 27 March 2020
- COVID-19: Changes to DBS ID checking guidelines - 24 March 2020
- Home Office - Right to work checks: COVID-19 guidance factsheet - March 2020
Health & Safety Executive working from home guidance
The HSE have stated that:
- Where workers are asked to work at home as part of temporary or contingency working arrangements, there is no evidence that homeworkers are exposed to any major additional or unique risks to health and safety as a consequence of their DSE work.
- In such circumstances, it is not necessary or practicable for employers to undertake home DSE workstation assessments for all their workers.
- Employers should, in addition to the training provided for DSE work in the office, provide workers with appropriate advice on completing their own basic workstation assessment at home - a practical workstation checklist is available. The checklist covers the workstation and the working environment.
- Workers should also be made aware of other simple steps that they need to take to reduce the risks from DSE work, e.g. rest breaks (at least 5 minutes every hour) or changes in activity; regularly changing position, getting up and moving or doing stretching exercises; avoiding eye fatigue by changing focus or blinking from time to time. Further information is available in Working with discplay screen equipment (DSE)
- Where workers have specialised DSE equipment needs, employers should try to meet those needs where possible. For some equipment (eg keyboards, mouse, riser) this could mean allowing workers to take this equipment home. For other larger items (eg ergonomic chairs, height-adjustable desks), this will not be practical, so employers should encourage workers to take alternative steps to create a comfortable working environment (eg use of supporting cushions) and encourage working behaviour that reduces the amount of sitting or screen-based work (eg more regular breaks)
- Employers should also be aware of other risks that may arise from social isolation, stress, lack of supervision, perceived lack of employer support and therefore ensure regular contact or communication with remote workers. Further information is in Protecting Lone Workers - How to manage the risks of working alone.
Further information can be found on the HSE dedicated coronavirus web pages.
Resources - including general advice and health & wellbeing:
- AoC - dedicated Mental Health and Wellbeing pages have a wealth of general but also Coronavirus focussed resources for staff and students and is updated regularly.
- Acas resource pages are regularly updated, and they have published a recording of their recent advisory webinar accessible here: Coronavirus – an advisory webinar for employers
- HMRC new HMRC helpline number is 0800 024 1222 and is open from 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday
- Confederation of British Industry (CBI) - Coronavirus hub
- CIPD Covid-19 resource pages.
- Irwin Mitchell have set up a dedicated coronavirus coronavirus resource page, and they have a dedicated LinkedIn group for employers, a regular blog that you can subscribe to, and a selection of webinars.
- National Cyber Security Centre: Home working: preparing your organisation and staff
- The Mental Health Foundation: Looking after your mental health during the Coronavirus outbreak
- Mind: Coronavirus and your wellbeing
- Young Minds: What to do if you're anxious about coronavirus
- Sports England: Stay in, Work out
- This Can Happen is a mental health and wellbeing organisation. They have developed some free wellbeing focussed webinars, and are aiming to produce more: This Can Happen webinars
Useful webinars (please note that you may need to copy the webinar link in to a suitable browser)
- CBI - Returning to work safely - 14 May 2020
- AoC - Managing Homeworking with Irwin Mitchell and College case study - 07 May 2020
- Acas - Furlough leave - HMRC Job Retention Scheme - 05 May 2020
- CBI - A case study on how to reopen - 01 May 2020
- This Can Happen - Managing mental health during these challenging times - 01 May 2020
- AoC - Managing staffing - 30 April 2020
- CBI - The practicalities of reopening - 30 April 2020
- Irwin Mitchell - The furlough scheme and furlough exit plans - 30 April 2020
- CBI - Lessons for reopening - 29 April 2020
- CBI - Planning for restart - an approach for business - 28 April 2020
- This Can Happen - How to sleep well in a changed world - 17 April 2020
- CBI - Productivity and working from home - 16 April 2020
- Acas - Coronavirus - an advisory webinar for employers - register for webinar playback at this link
- MyHRToolkit - Furlough Q&A - 08 April 2020
- This Can Happen - Tips on working from home - 03 April 2020
- CBI - daily coronavirus webinar.
- Irwin Mitchell blog: TUC sets out strategy to get UK back to work - 30 April 2020
- DfE - Coronavirus (COVID-19): financial support for education, early years and children’s social care - 22 April 2020
- Furlough portal open - Irwin Mitchell guidance on what you need to know/do to make a claim - 20 April 2020
- HMRC - Claim for your employees’ wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) A step by step guide for employers - 17 April 2020
02 April 2020
- Irwin MItchell - Agency Workers and Furlough FAQs - 09 April 2020
- Irwin Mitchell guidance - Which businesses can continue to operate - 24 March 2020
- Draft UCU response letter (note: you will be taken to the dedicated AoC Employment page to access this document)
- Irwin Mitchell Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme information - 23 March 2020
- Government guidance - rules on carrying over annual leave to be relaxed to support key industries during Covid-19 - 27 March 2020
- Irwin Mitchell - FAQs about self-isolation, pay and holidays - 24 March 2020
- Irwin Mitchell - FAQs about pregnant and high risk individuals - 24 March 2020