Going through something like what we’re going through now is especially hard to do when you don’t have all the facts. The coronavirus pandemic and the resulting nationwide lockdown has left a lot of businesses in duress, with many wondering what the lockdown actually entails and how it will impact their work processes.
In this regard, Whipping the Cat has been working with quite a few clients to try and make sense of the implications of the lockdown. An area that seems to be of common concern and confusion is how to treat employee “leave” during the lockdown period.
There seems to be some confusion about the circumstances in which an employer must continue to pay their employees.
This article sets out our current understanding in regard to the application of “leave”. As it stands, according to the regulation surrounding the operation of businesses during the lockdown:
- Certain businesses that provide essential goods or services are permitted to stay open during the lockdown period.
- Companies that are able to continue their operations remotely have been encouraged by the President to do so.
- Many companies are required to close and so many employees are not permitted (or able) to go to work and/or are not able to work remotely.
As a result of these 3 different scenarios, there seems to be some confusion about the circumstances in which an employer must continue to pay their employees