HR support during the Covid-19 pandemic
29 May 20  /  Covid-19

We are living through unprecedented times, as we continue our battle against coronavirus. Despite the easing of lockdown restrictions in England, there’s a long way to go in the global fight against Covid-19 and, while our consumer-driven society is suppressed, the challenges to business remain.

Those working in HR are very much on the frontline, helping their organisations to adapt and respond, employing stringent measures to prevent the spread of the virus, and ensuring the health and wellbeing of staff and clients alike. 

Developing a flexible resourcing plan is key, enabling staff to work remotely from home, managing absence due to illness and ensuring continuation of key functions within the organisation. This involves making the right decisions in tough circumstances, answering questions from people concerned about their health or financial security and generally supporting employees in a positive way. 

While a great deal of advice, resources and guidance has been announced by the Government in response to coronavirus, the landscape is continually changing and HR needs to be aware of the obligations of employers to employees. We wanted to give clients and friends of Mathews Comfort access to reliable sources of information as to what is available and here provide some up-to-date guidance, with links to websites:

HR implications of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)

The cut-off date eligibility has been changed, extending the scope of CJRS. Employers must now have created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before 19 March 2020 and enrolled for PAYE online, with a third update announced on 15th April 2020. Details can be found here and Overview can be found here.

Covid-19 safe work environments

With the Government announcing a relaxation of the lockdown, it’s essential employers provide a safe work environment for employees. The Government, in consultation with industry, has produced guidance to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible, covering a range of different types of work. Details can be found here.

Legal issues arising due to COVID-19

The impact of measures being taken to contain the spread of COVID-19 is creating a range of issues for employers and employees, with legal cases relating to corporate governance, contracts, disclosure, financing, employment, and strategic transactions. International law firm, White & Chase, provide some interesting information on Covid-19 legal issues.

Closure of tax audits

Some tax audits have been suspended or closed as they are not ‘in the public interest’ at this time, and others are being carried out remotely. Details can be found here.

Extensions to file accounts:

Businesses have an additional 3 months to file accounts with Companies House to help avoid incurring penalties as they deal with impact of COVID-19. Details can be found here.

Business support:

Government Business Support Helpline

Advice and financial help from Government-backed schemes, helping you stay in business and keep your staff employed, including help with tax, exporting and writing a business plan - Details can be found here.

Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP)

Providing support for businesses of all sizes concerned about coronavirus, keeping you informed on latest developments that may affect your business and helping you to remain resilient and productive - Details can be found here.

Federation of Small Businesses (FSB)

Providing advice and guidance for small business on reducing the risks from coronavirus and linking you to the latest Government information, measures and updates - Details can be found here.

GOV.UK support for businesses and self-employed people

Coronavirus help and support, including webchat, is available here.

HMRC’s helpline: 0800 024 1222 

Helpline if you run a business and/or are self-employed and are concerned about paying your tax due to coronavirus. Please note, due to measures put in place to stop the spread of coronavirus, fewer advisers are available to answer calls. 

Mathews Comfort – here to help

We hope that you find these sources of information helpful. If you know of any other Government backed support schemes or local support hubs that we have not highlighted, please let us know.

If you need the support of a HR specialist or lawyer, we are happy to introduce you to our connections, please call 01865 208 000 or email us at:

Safe wishes to all of our clients and friends.

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Supporting your health & wellbeing throughout the coronavirus crisis
01 June 20  /  Covid-19