Staffing and Coronavirus – Steps that do not trigger employment law risks


The legal framework that applies is relatively complex and the value of the risk in dismissing employees can be substantial. Before making any permanent decisions, however, here are some steps that can be taken by employers without employment law risks.

  1. Ask individual employees to agree different terms on a temporary basis;
  2. Ask individual employees to share the risk by decreasing fixed remuneration and introducing better variable remuneration terms (such as phantom shares or future bonuses);
  3. Re-negotiate agreements with contractors where it is a pure commercial contract (free from employment law);
  4. Discuss reduced hours/days (with pro rata pay);
  5. Discuss sharing risk and agreeing that employees fluctuate pay at regular intervals. (Group A works 4 days every other month with Group B working 4 days in the other months).

Asking and discussing do not trigger claims. Decisions do trigger claims.

For every employee that agrees to a new arrangement, the employment risk is reduced. Where measures are needed therefore, there is potential to gain and nothing to lose by having informal discussions.

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