COVID 19 Business Help Guide - Page 16

Volunteering leave
Bereavement leave
You may have seen that the government has asked for thousands of volunteers
The unpleasant reality is that
to help support the NHS and social health - and it’s great that over half a million
employees may face the loss of loved
people have already signed up. If you are interested, you can do so use the link.
one and so now is a good time to
review your bereavement policy. There
However, the Emergency Coronavirus Bill which will be used when necessary
is no legal right to bereavement leave,
proposes emergency volunteering leave. This means that volunteers (who already
but it is worth thinking about how you
play a central role in helping the health and social care system function) will be
will support employees in a way that
given additional employment safeguards so they can leave their main jobs and
shows compassion and understanding.
temporarily volunteer in the event that our health and social care systems need
urgent support. Under these proposed measures, government will ensure the jobs
A new law will be coming into effect
of skilled, experienced or qualified volunteers are protected for up to four weeks to
on 6th April 2020 that you need to
allow them to shore up resilience across the health and social care systems.
prepare for. ‘Jacks Law’ will provide
two weeks statutory protection for
The leave will be unpaid and volunteers will be asked to register with their local
Parental Bereavement Leave at SMP
authority so that their skills and capabilities can be matched to a volunteering
for any loss of a child under the age
positon. They will be given a certificate which they will need to share with their
of 18. It is important that HR updates
employer, giving three working days’ notice.
take place to include this.
Protecting your
This is a good opportunity for
employees to ensure that all the
employee contact details are up to
date. In addition, keep your staff up to
date with the latest government advice
via your own website, an intranet
portal, email or even text. Promote the
various government resources that
are available and of course, encourage
employees to connect and support
each other.
Some of your team may be doing extra
work to cover for absent colleagues
– your business must still comply
with Working Time Regulations. It’s
important you don’t put unnecessary
pressure on them.
Don’t forget to send messages or even
tokens of goodwill to thank your staff
and show your appreciation for their
hard work


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