Covid-19: Daily communications update 30.03.20, 16:46hrs


As mentioned by Jeneva Allison in the all staff briefing earlier, please see information below on new Covid-19 staff terms and conditions published by the government.

Key highlights:

Pre-employment checks

  • We can accept scanned copies of documents for ID checks, right to work and DBS checks
  • Obtain at least one reference from the current or most recent employer
  • Fast track DBS against the children’s and adults barred list could be obtained within 24 hours
  • Working Time Regulations remains in force, but with local flexibility


  • Staff who are sick and in self-isolation, due to Covid-19, will receive special leave with full pay
  • They will receive special leave (coded on ESR as Covid-19) and will not be deemed on medical suspension
  • This should have no impact on local policies, as it is a temporary national provision / entitlement
  • If staff self-isolate, but continue to work, then no record of sickness should be made
  • Agency workers and staff employed via a personal services company, who are going into self-isolation, will not be entitled to any pay from the NHS

Sick leave

  • Sec 14 of Agenda for Change (A4C), on sick pay, will be paused for the duration of the pandemic, for Covid-1
  • That means if someone is off due to Covid-19, they will continue to receive full-pay, irrespective of their sickness absence record
  • Covid-19 sickness; and Normal Sickness Absence are to be reported separately via ESR
  • Covid-19 sickness will not trigger normal sickness absence triggers
  • If someone is off-sick for other reasons, other than Covid-19, then A4C will apply, (bar half-pay and no-pay will be suspended)

Annual leave

  • Considered annual leave should continue, subject to operational requirements
  • Maintaining staff’s health and wellbeing remains paramount
  • Staff must have taken their statutory minimum of leave in each year, i.e. 20 days (or as close to this as is operationally and practically possible)
  • If staff have taken 28 days, (including bank holidays) consideration could be given to allow the selling of leave, that are over and above the 28 days
  • Staff can carryover annual leave into the next leave year, up to 2022

Maternity/shared parental/adoption leave

  • Staff can work up to 10 keeping in touch (KiT) days, without bringing their maternity or adoption leave to an end
  • Staff on shared parental leave can work up to 20 days ‘shared parental leave keeping in touch’ (SPLiT), without bringing their maternity or adoption leave to an end


  • The Working Time Regulations (WRT) remains enforced, but with local flexibility
  • Senior managers should work to a rota to ensure they and their staff don’t burn-out
  • Overtime payments are in line with Sec 3 of Agenda for Change
  • Pay Bands 2 – 7 will be entitled to overtime payment
  • Pay Bands 8 and 9 will not be entitled to overtime payment (sec. 3.6)


  • To enable as many staff as possible to be deployed in supporting the Covid-19 challenge, the 20% for off-the-job training for apprentices is suspended
  • Staff can be deployed for this time and will not be disadvantaged in doing so on their qualifications

Pay progression

  • All the usual arrangements, i.e. appraisal, or mandatory training that would normally impact pay-progression has been paused
  • Pay progression will automatically occur for all staff, until further notice

Full details of the terms and conditions are available on the NHS Employers website.

In other HR news…

Further advice and support

Please remember to visit:

  • AskHUE – for the latest advice and information for staff, including previous daily comms bulletins
  • Every Mind Matters has released expert advice and top tips on how to look after your mental wellbeing while you’re at home during the coronavirus outbreak. It also includes guidance if you’re feeling worried or anxious about the outbreak
  • NHS website – for information on the virus and how to prevent it spreading
  • GOV.UK website – for national advice, including full guidance on staying at home and away from others

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