THE coronavirus crisis could lead to tens of thousands being put out of work – with entertainment, retail and hospitality the worst-hit sectors.
Despite a package of measures unveiled by Chancellor Rishi Sunak, some firms have begun laying off staff or freezing job offers.
Carphone Warehouse this week announced the closure of more than 500 stores, with 2,900 jobs going to the wall. Laura Ashley collapsed into administration, putting 2,700 jobs at risk, and many businesses are fighting to survive the pandemic.
But Sunemployment is here to help.
Many firms are still hiring and we will champion those companies creating jobs.
Our new Sun Jobs site will bring you the latest vacancies each day at jobs.thesun.co.uk.
And we have teamed up with experts to answer questions you may have about employment rights at this difficult time . . .
What happens if my company wants to dismiss me?
Tom Neil, Acas senior adviser, said: “While this is a very new and different situation, rights in terms of dismissal and suspension remain the same.
“While an employer has the right to dismiss their staff, they should do this fairly and with legitimate reasons.
“If they do not, then an employee may be able to challenge the dismissal.”
Can my company suspend my role?
Emma O’Leary, HR director of employment law specialist The Elas Group, said: “To avoid dismissals, businesses may look at temporary lay-offs or short-time working.
“This is where there is a temporary cessation of work.
“Employers will be entitled to place employees on a reduced work pattern or provide no work at all.”
Am entitled to pay if my role is suspended?
Tom said: “In terms of suspension, staff should only be laid off with no pay if their contract explicitly allows this.
“An employer should usually only consider suspension from work if there is a serious allegation of misconduct, medical grounds to suspend or a workplace risk to an employee who is a new or expectant mother.
“Employees should usually receive their full pay and benefits during a period of suspension.”
Emma added: “If an employer provides no work at all, employees will be entitled to a statutory guarantee payment of £29 per day for the first five workless days only in a 13-week period.
“This is designed to avoid redundancies where it is envisaged the situation will only last a few weeks.”
Am I entitled to work from home?
Emma said: “There is no automatic right to work from home and not all roles will be suitable.”
What if I am dismissed?
Emma said: “If you are dismissed because of a downturn in work, you may be entitled to tax-free redundancy pay — subject to a £30,000 limit — if you have more than two years’ service.
“You will also be entitled to notice pay depending on your contract and length of service.
“If you have less than two years’ service, you will only be entitled to your notice pay and in most cases that will only be one week.”
- Find out more at acas.org.uk/coronavirus.
Take away roles
FOOD delivery firms are taking on drivers to cope with extra demand.
With more of us than ever ordering home delivery takeaways, Deliveroo and Just East have jobs on offer across the country.
Roles are flexible, meaning you can set your own weekly schedule and pay.
Couriers can earn upwards of £120 a day but are self-employed and responsible for their own tax.
Apply at deliveroo.co.uk/apply and couriers.just-eat.co.uk/application.
MORRISONS will create 3,500 new jobs so it can expand its delivery services to help more customers during the virus crisis.
The supermarket says it is looking at new ways of getting shopping to people and creating more delivery slots.
As well as hiring around 2,500 pickers and drivers, Morrisons will be recruiting around 1,000 people to work in distribution centres.
For details, and to apply, see morrisons.jobs.
Be a top business mum…
IT’S Mother’s Day this Sunday and the UK is one of the world’s top countries for mum-powered businesses – which generate an estimated £8bn for the nation’s economy.
Mumpreneur Amelia Coward, founder of gift firm bombus.co.uk, says: “I believe children watching their parents working to create a business, however big or small, is an invaluable education.
“It teaches independence and confidence.”
Here Amelia, 44, of Whitstable, Kent, gives her top five tips for mums starting up a business:
- Expect the unexpected: This is always key but never more so than in the current crisis. Be able to react immediately to whatever situation is thrown at you.
- Compartmentalise: In your mind, separate your family and work to prevent the stress of one affecting the other. Learn to sideline problems and deal with them in allocated times.
- Know your seasonal peaks and troughs: This will help you manage staff and stock and also stop you panicking when you realise a certain month is always quiet year on year.
- Innovate: Never stop designing, developing and evolving your business.
(Look after your team: Be transparent and open with your staff. Engage them in the journey and give them space and control in day-to-day decision making. Make it a team effort and share the highs and lows.