Many employers are facing difficulties in relation to the Coronavirus; some are losing work as a result, for example, of cancellations of events or reduction/closure of their clients’ companies.

QHR Solutions is being contacted daily by its clients who are in a position of potentially having to lose employees.

QHR Solutions is not currently in a position to attend at clients’ premises but is continuing to support companies via email and telephone.  Opening hours are very fluid so feel free to contact at any time.

Whilst there is advice for those businesses who are able to continue, the main problems are for those companies whose work has reduced or disappeared and which may lead to the necessity to reduce staff or make redundancies.

Lay-off and short-time working can only be used if it is contained within the company contracts and the arrangements for these actions must adhere to what is contained within the contract.  If these are NOT in your contract then you can only use these measure by negotiation and agreement with employees.  QHR Solutions can provide advice on these measures.  As a last resort redundancy may be the only option.


The latest advice from the government (updated 20th March) is:

  • businesses and workplaces should encourage their employees to work at home, wherever possible
  • if someone becomes unwell in the workplace with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, they should be sent home and advised to follow the advice to stay at home
  • employees should be reminded to wash their hands for 20 seconds more frequently and catch coughs and sneezes in tissues
  • frequently clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are touched regularly, using your standard cleaning products
  • employees will need your support to adhere to the recommendation to stay at home to reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) to others
  • those who follow advice to stay at home will be eligible for statutory sick pay (SSP) from the first day of their absence from work
  • employers should use their discretion concerning the need for medical evidence for certification for employees who are unwell. This will allow GPs to focus on their patients
  • if evidence is required by an employer, those with symptoms of coronavirus can get an isolation note from NHS 111 online, and those who live with someone that has symptoms can get a note from the NHS website
  • employees from defined vulnerable groupsshould be strongly advised and supported to stay at home and work from there if possible

It’s good practice for employers to:

  • keep everyone updated on actions being taken to reduce risks of exposure in the workplace
  • ensure employees who are in a vulnerable group are strongly advised to follow social distancing guidance
  • make sure everyone’s contact numbers and emergency contact details are up to date
  • make sure managers know how to spot symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) and are clear on any relevant processes, for example sickness reporting and sick pay, and procedures in case someone in the workplace is potentially infected and needs to take the appropriate action
  • make sure there are places to wash hands for 20 seconds with soap and water, and encourage everyone to do so regularly
  • provide hand sanitiser and tissues for staff, and encourage them to use them

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

Those employees who follow advice to stay at home and who cannot work as a result will be eligible for statutory sick pay (SSP), even if they are not themselves sick.  SSP is payable from day one for cases related to coronavirus, the 3 day qualifying period is removed.

Employers should use their discretion and respect the medical need to self-isolate in making decisions about sick pay.  By law, medical evidence is not required for the first 7 days of sickness. After 7 days, employers may use their discretion around the need for medical evidence if an employee is staying at home.  We strongly suggest that employers use their discretion around the need for medical evidence for a period of absence where an employee is advised to stay at home either as they are unwell themselves, or live with someone who is, in accordance with the public health advice issued by the government.

If evidence is required to cover self-isolation or household isolation beyond the first 7 days of absence then employees can get an isolation note from NHS 111 online or from the NHS website.


It is worth checking your insurance policy to see if there is any cover for business interruption. To be honest, not many will be covered for this pandemic, but it is always worth checking.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme

Details of the above are expected to be released within a few weeks.

Finally, do ask for help if you are confused and/or worried, QHR Solutions are available to offer help and advice.