Sentient Group Ltd
Info Update 2020/19                                                         Issue Date: 15/04/2020
HRMC have announced a major change to the rules as to who can qualify to be placed on Furlough and employers must now have created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before 19th March 2020. This means employers can now claim for furloughed employees that were on the PAYE payroll on or before 19th March 2020 and which were notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or before 19th March 2020.  Click here to find out more.
Up until today that date was 28th February 2020 so this change will now make it possible for a number of employees to be placed on Furlough who previously could not be.

The legislative details for the Job Retention Scheme have just been published also and we will update you on anything that clarifies the workings of the scheme as soon as we can.

In the rest of this Update we focus on the HSE’s latest information and guidance on what, when and how you should make a report under RIDDOR and also guidelines on lawful first aid cover and training during the coronavirus pandemic.

You must only make a report under RIDDOR (The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013) when:
  • An unintended incident at work has led to someone’s possible or actual exposure to Coronavirus. This must be reported as a dangerous occurrence
  • A worker has been diagnosed as having COVID-19 and there is reasonable evidence that it was caused by exposure at work. This must be reported as a case of disease.
What to Report
Dangerous Occurrences
If something happens at work which results in (or could result in) the release or escape of coronavirus you must report this as a dangerous occurrence. An example of a dangerous occurrence would be a lab worker accidentally smashing a glass vial containing coronavirus, leading to people being exposed.

Cases of Disease: Exposure to a Biological Agent
If there is reasonable evidence that someone diagnosed with COVID-19 was likely exposed because of their work you must report this as an exposure to a biological agent using the case of disease report. An example of a work-related exposure to coronavirus would be a health care professional who is diagnosed with COVID-19 after treating patients with COVID-19.
If first aid cover for your business is reduced because of coronavirus or you can’t get the first aid training you need, there are some things you can do so that you still comply with the law.

You should review your first aid needs assessment and decide if you can still provide the cover needed for the workers that are present and the activities that they are doing.
Keep enough first aid cover
If there are fewer people coming into your workplace it may still be safe to operate with reduced first aid cover. You could also stop higher risk activities.
Share first aid cover with another business
You could share the first aiders of another business, but be sure that they have the knowledge, experience and availability to cover the first aid needs of your business.
Shared first aiders must:
  • be aware of the type of injuries or illnesses that you identified in your first aid needs assessment and have the training and skills to address them
  • know enough about your work environment and its first aid facilities
  • be able to get to the workplace in good time if needed
Whoever provides the temporary cover must make sure they do not adversely affect their own first aid cover.
First aid certificate extensions
If you hold a first aid certificate that expires on or after 16 March 2020 and cannot access requalification training because of coronavirus you may qualify for a 3-month extension. This applies to:
  • First Aid at Work (FAW)
  • Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW)
  • Offshore Medic (OM)
  • Offshore First Aid (OFA)
To qualify for the extension, you must be able to explain why you haven’t been able to requalify and demonstrate what steps you have taken to access the training, if asked to do so.
Interrupted first aid training
If because of coronavirus you cannot complete training for your first aid qualification within the usual timeframe, training can restart at a later date as long as:
  • a full recap of training delivered before the interruption is done before moving onto undelivered modules
  • the awarding body is content that you can show a full understanding of all aspects of the course content and the knowledge required and competencies at the end of the training.
As usual, if there are any changes to any of the above we will let you know. 
The advice and comment in this update is not meant to be an authoritative statement of the law. The articles and summaries should not be applied to any specific set of facts and circumstances without seeking further advice. Whilst every care is taken to ensure that the content is correct Sentient cannot accept responsibility for the accuracy of statements made nor the result of any actions taken by individuals after reading such.
49-51 Pegholme
Wharfebank Mills
Ilkley Road
LS21 3JP
03456 446006
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