Top 10 HR Questions October 2021: Reluctant returners

How should employers deal with employees reluctant to return to the workplace?

Government advice in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales remains that employers should support staff to work from home where possible, and in England there is talk of implementing “plan B”, including a return to remote working.

However, many employers have been asking employees to return to the workplace, often under a hybrid working arrangement. The closure of the furlough scheme means that employers can no longer receive support for the wages of employees who are not at work.

So what can an employer do if an employee is reluctant to return to work after being on furlough or working from home for a number of months? This is the subject of the most popular FAQ on XpertHR in October.

Other questions in the top 10 cover the provision of equipment for employees working from home, including under a hybrid working model; asking employees about their vaccination status; and carrying over annual leave.

The top 10 HR questions in October 2021:

1. What should the employer do if an employee is reluctant to return to work as the coronavirus restrictions are lifted?

2. Must employers provide equipment for employees who work from home?

3. Can employers ask employees if they have had a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination?

4. When can an employer dismiss an employee on the grounds of ill health?

5. Can employers use the NHS Covid Pass to check employees’ coronavirus status?

6. How should an employer calculate a term-time worker’s paid holiday?

7. How is statutory redundancy pay calculated if the employee has been furloughed?

8. How long must an employer consult with employees for when seeking agreement to change their contracts?

9. Can unused statutory annual holiday be carried forward to the next holiday year?

10. What should an employer do if an employee fails to attend a disciplinary hearing?

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