On 25 March 2020 the Coronavirus Act 2020 received royal assent.
The Act introduces a wide range of the emergency measures that we have seen announced by the government over the last few weeks in the response to the Coronavirus disease.
1.Amendments to coronavirus related Statutory Sick Pay:
- Payable from day 1
- Funded by the state
2. Creation of emergency volunteering leave
- Workers can leave their main job to volunteer for an ‘appropriate authority’ i.e. NHS
- The leave can be taken from 2-4 weeks within a ‘volunteering period’ providing 3 working days notice is given to the employer.
The Act is extensive and covers all manners of measure. Just some of the other measures included in the Act relate to:
- Early registration of nurses and medial practitioners
- The food supply chain
- Closure of schools
- Police powers regarding potential offences.
- Pension rights regarding NHS workers returning to work
- Remote Court headings.
- Postponement of elections
- Retention of DNA
The act will automatically expire after 2 years under what is known as a ‘sunset clause’. The Act will also be reviewed every 6 months and can be brought to an end sooner if there is vote to do so in the House of Commons.
If you are looking for some extra reading during the time you are spending at home, the full 358 page Act can be found online: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2020/7/pdfs/ukpga_20200007_en.pdf.
For more information or guidance on employment related matters, please contact our Employment Law team: [email protected]