19 March 2020
The NHBF has now published a detailed list of coronavirus FAQs for salons and barbershops.
Schools will be closing after Friday, 20 March 2020. The measure applies to state and private schools, nurseries and sixth-form colleges. It is not yet known for how long they will stay closed. The closure could last until the start of the next school year in September 2020.
The government is advising that grandparents should not be asked to help with childcare because of their vulnerability to the virus.
Current plans are for a ‘skeletal’ school service to continue for:
- Vulnerable children, for example, those with a social worker or entitled to special needs support.
- Children of key workers including doctors, nurses and those who deliver food. If one parent is a key worker, the government will expect the other parent to have their child/children at home.
However, there are no details yet of how this will be organised.
Where possible, special schools and residential schools will continue to look after children and young people.
Can my employee stay off work to look after their children when schools close?
Employees are entitled to a reasonable amount of unpaid time off to deal with an emergency relating to a dependant including children. (Some employment contracts may state that this type of leave is paid – always check.)
If more time is needed than the usual 24/48 hours, and/or the reason for being off is to care for the dependant rather than make arrangements for someone else to care for them, alternative arrangements are needed:
- Your employee could take annual leave or unpaid leave (it’s good practice to relax your usual procedures for booking annual leave at this time).
- Consider whether there is any entitlement to parental or other types of leave.
- Consider offering your employee different hours so they can be at home more during the day when their children would normally have been in school.
Try to keep up to date with new financial measures as they are announced by the government – financial support may become available to make payments to staff who are taking unpaid leave.
If a child or anyone else in your employee’s household has coronavirus symptoms, your employee must self-isolate for 14 days and will be entitled to any Statutory Sick Pay due to them.
More information and resources from the NHBF
- Members can call our membership team on 01234 831965.
- For legal advice, Members can login to get our 24/7 legal helpline number.
- Please follow the links in this NHBF blog post for the latest official government and NHS advice.
- Download information about laying off staff and a template letter.
- Download a poster about the coronavirus to display in your salon or barbershop. This poster advises clients with symptoms to stay away.
- Keep up to date with our latest news.