Join The Conversation 
 
If you've found our website interesting and would like to learn more, we would love to hear from you! Below are some useful tips and insights from Sue Bailey, MA, FCIPD, an acknowledged industry expert and trusted advisor, which will hopefully trigger some thoughts or ideas. 
 
We would love to hear your views... 
I’m sure you’ve heard that on 19th January, the Government announced a change back to PLAN A restrictions in England and the guidance to work from home ended immediately. The government are now recommending employees speak to their employers about arrangements for returning to the office. COVID case rates remain high and working from home may continue to be the new normal for most office-based staff for some months to come. 
 
In Wales, from 28th January, working from home remains important but moves from law to guidance. 
The rules on fit notes were changed on a temporary basis on 17th December. So, for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), where employees go off sick on or after 10 December 2021, employers can only ask employees for proof of sickness (such as a fit note) after 28 days of sickness (including non-working days). Proof of sickness cannot be requested earlier than 28 days. 
 
These changes are to give GPs more time to work on the Coronavirus (Covid-19) booster programme and apply until 26 January 2022. 
While planning for future work organisation, you may be reflecting on your organisation’s experience of temporary flexible working arrangements during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. These may include the switch to working from home and flexibility around hours to help employees commute outside busy times, home school or have more choice on working hours generally. 
Recent announcements about the extension of the Job Retention Scheme, has now confirmed that the scheme will be extended to the end of March 2021. 
One of the many consequences of the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is that organisations are contemplating a range of workforce measures, including redundancies.. 
 
Conciliation service ACAS said calls to its redundancy advice line almost tripled in June and July. 
Flexible furlough guidance published on 12 June 2020 reveals that, from 1 July, employees will no longer have to be furloughed for a minimum period of three weeks. 
 
From this date, the furlough scheme has more flexibility, allowing Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) claims on a pro rata basis. Employees can work some of the week and be furloughed for the remainder, in proportions to be agreed with their employer. 
Employers have had to familiarise themselves with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, part of a package of support for businesses affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. 
 
The scheme is intended to support employers to continue paying employees who would otherwise be made redundant or put on an unpaid period of lay-off as a result of the coronavirus crisis. 
 
It is open to all employers with a PAYE scheme, including public-sector employers and charities. 
No matter what the outcome of Brexit, the reality is that businesses are facing an uncertain future.  
 
Uncertain trading conditions and political turmoil make it extremely difficult for business leaders to predict where and how business can take place, what barriers there may be, and how the decisions of other businesses may impact their own. 
 
How do you develop an effective business strategy in such an uncertain world? 
 
Here is an insightful article on this critical question from guest blogger Jan Bowen-Nielsen, Managing Director of Quiver Management. 
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