We round-up the latest news affecting colleges.
Coronavirus: government updates its ‘safe working in education’ guidance
The Department of Education has updated its guidance on
safe working in education, childcare and children’s social care. This applies to schools, further education (FE) settings and sixth form colleges. It includes advice on minimising contact, changes of work practices, hand and respiratory hygiene, increased cleaning, limiting movement and when personal protective equipment (PPE) may be necessary.
It should be read in conjunction with the guidance on
Coronavirus: implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings. Extra support for new teachers
The government has said that new teachers will receive a boost to their training and development. In autumn, a new induction programme will be introduced in the North East, Bradford, Doncaster and Greater Manchester. It’s based on the Early Career Framework and and will provide up to 2,000 new teachers with one-to-one mentor sessions in the first two years after qualifying. The plan is to roll the scheme out across the country from 2021.
Participating schools will receive £2,200 for every teacher on the second year of the induction, according to the
FE sector excluded from £1 billion ‘COVID catch-up plan’
The Education Secretary Gavin Williamson recently announced a
‘catch-up’ package to help head teachers to provide extra support to children who've fallen behind whilst out of school. The £1 billion package includes £350 million to pay for a tutoring scheme for the most disadvantaged pupils, and £650 million to be shared across state primary and secondary schools during the next academic year. Next year’s GCSE and A-level exams may be delayed
The government is considering delaying the 2021 summer exams in England to allow for additional teaching time to make up for lessons lost to school closures during the pandemic, according to the
Guardian newspaper. Post-travel quarantine rules: employers’ questions answered
The government recently said that anyone entering the UK must self-quarantine for 14 days. But does this apply to UK residents or just to visitors? Can you ask staff to work if they’re quarantined, and do you have to pay them? Can you tell staff not to travel abroad or cancel leave to prevent them travelling? You can
read our detailed advice here. Research suggests that up to a third of furloughed staff are asked to work in breach of the rules
Many employees have been asked to work during furlough in clear breach of the rules, according to
recent research about furloughing. HMRC are concerned the scheme is a ‘magnet for fraudsters’, and is opening up a 30-day window to give organisations the chance to ‘confess’. Those that don’t will face financial penalties and criminal prosecution. Parents returning to work after maternity leave can be furloughed after 10 June
Anyone who hasn’t been furloughed for at least three weeks between 1 March and 30 June can’t be furloughed from 1 July.
But, following pressure from
Maternity Action, the government has confirmed that anyone who’s returned to work after 10 June from maternity, shared parental, adoption, paternity or parental bereavement leave can still be furloughed. This only applies if their employer has already furloughed any other employee for at least three weeks between 1 March and 30 June, and the returner was on their payroll on or before 19 March 2020. Employers will not be penalised for genuine mistakes when claiming furlough payments
indicated they’ll take a lenient view of those businesses which make genuine mistakes when claiming furlough. But those who deliberately claim for staff who are working will face penalties and criminal prosecution. Government explains how holiday entitlement and pay operates during COVID-19
The government has published
guidance on holiday entitlement and pay during coronavirus. It includes sections on furloughed staff and deferring holiday into another holiday year. You can read our detailed summary of the government guidance here. No current plans to commence emergency volunteering leave
The Coronavirus Act 2020 sets out provisions allowing certain workers to take unpaid statutory emergency volunteering leave to volunteer in the NHS and other social care settings. But the Department of Health and Social Care have said there are no immediate plans to bring these rights into practice, because the system has coped without volunteers.
Some apprentices can return to training
The Department for Education has updated its guidance for apprentices, employers, training providers, end-point assessment organisations and external quality assurance providers about
changes to apprenticeships due to the coronavirus outbreak. The most recent update on 2 June 2020 adds information on:
Apprentices returning to work
Returning to undertake EPA within assessment centres or to train in an educational setting
Payments to training providers
New EPA flexibilities.
TUC calls for workers not to be penalised for self-isolating
The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has called on the government to make sure that all workers have financial support to comply with self-isolation requirements under the NHS Test and Trace scheme. The TUC believes that inadequate sick pay could stop people acting on public health requests to self-isolate. To counter this, it’s calling for government to bring in emergency legislation to ensure that:
Statutory sick pay (SSP) covers all employees
SSP is increased to £325 per week
Employers to be subject to a legal duty not to penalise workers who are required to self-isolate.
Review into employment rights for domestic abuse survivors
Business Minister Paul Scully has launched a
review of employment rights for survivors of domestic abuse. This will determine what actions can be taken to help these individuals in the workplace.
The review forms part of the government’s wider approach to combat domestic abuse and seeks views on the availability of flexible working and unplanned leave for domestic abuse survivors. The review will also consider how employers can tackle economic abuse.
The deadline for written submissions is 9 September 2020.
Figures reveal increase in employment tribunal claims
The government has published its
quarterly employment tribunal statistics for January to March 2020. These show an 18% increase in the numbers of single claims issued compared with the same quarter in 2019.
Of the 10,663 single claims issued in that three-month period, the most common types of complaint were for unfair dismissal, unauthorised deductions from wage claims, and claims under the Working Time Regulations.
Read more – June 2020
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