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Coronavirus advice for Nannies and Employers

There is naturally a lot of concern regarding Covid 19 as it spreads across the globe. Understandably, this is causing worry and questions among Families and Nannies. We don’t have all the answers but have put this article together to try and answer some of the questions we have been asked. The situation across the UK is changing daily and new emergency procedures will continue to be implemented.

As of March 16th the Government announced the following measures.

  • Anyone with a fever or persistent cough should stay at home for seven days if they live alone or 14 days if they live with others. Anyone who lives with someone displaying Coronavirus symptoms should also stay at home for 14 days.

  • Stop all non essential contact

  • Work from home where possible

  • Avoid public place e.g. pubs, cinemas, restaurants

  • Avoid non essential travel

  • Self isolate if you have serious health issues

We advise that you sit down and have a chat with your Employer/Employee to discuss how the next few weeks may affect you all, voice any concerns you may have and make a plan incase of illness or isolation.

Employers MUST adhere to government guidance and if their Employee needs to self-isolate they must facilitate this. This is no different for a live-in Nanny, although it does come with additional challenges when the Nanny’s home is that of the Employer.

Open Dialect is essential.

Below is some information regarding pay entitlement under current UK law.

  • If you are in quarantine or need to self-isolate according to the above instructions. It should be treated as sick leave and pay is determined by your contract. Statutory Sick Pay is currently £94.25 and increases to £95.85 per week from 06/04/20. The Government has rushed through emergency legislation making this payable from the first day of sickness, instead of kicking in on Day 4. For most Employees, this is a huge drop in income. If you are being paid in full, then please consider paying your Nanny in full. If not then perhaps you could top the SSP up to half pay instead of full pay.

  • If a Nanny chooses to self-isolate, but has no symptoms, or has not been in contact with someone who does then, by Law this could be treated as unauthorised, unpaid absence and might even result in disciplinary action. However, take professional advice beforehand, particularly if pregnant or underlying medical conditions are involved.

  • If as a Nanny your Employer does not want you to work. This is suspension on Health and Safety grounds and you must be paid in full.

  • As a Nanny if your Employer is working from home and still requires you to work You are still required to work provided your Employer is not required to self-isolate. If they have to self-isolate, you cannot come and go. You could Live-in, so that you are isolated together but this needs to discussed and decided on together.

  • As a Nanny if your Employer is unable to work / is in self-isolation and therefore doesn’t need you. In most cases, you will still be paid in full. You could be required to take holiday (although you could insist upon advance notice as in contract). If you are not being paid you may have to agree to a temporary lay-off, or end the contract altogether by serving notice. Please take professional advice beforehand.

Sick leave situations

  • You have developed symptoms and are in isolation. This is sick leave and pay is determined by your contract with sick pay due from day one as per Emergency legislation

  • You have symptoms but are happy to work. According to Goverment advice you must remain in isolation on sick leave (with pay determined by the contract or sick pay due from day one as per Emergency legislation).

Statutory Sick Pay

SSP is currently £94.25 per week and increases to £95.85 per week from 06/04/20 payable to any Employee, regardless of the number of days normally worked, provided normal earnings are at least £120 gross per week. If earnings are below £120, no SSP is payable. Instead,you need to request an SSP1.

SSP can run for up to 28 weeks however Coronavirus Covid-19 cases will normally resolve in just a few weeks.

HMRC do not normally reimburse Employers for SSP paid out, however, the Government has announced help for Employers who have less than 250 Employees. For Coronavirus Covid-19 cases, HMRC will reimburse up to 14 days of SSP paid out.

Employers should contact the Payroll company they use to let them know the first and last day of sickness so payroll records can be adjusted.

Sick notes

All Employees can sign themselves off for the first 7 calendar days. After that in an effort to keep COVID-19 contained, people who are self-isolating are able to get sick note by using an online NHS 111 service, rather than going in person to the GP.

Please refer the the Government website for up to date information

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