Banner photo for the news story 'COVID Update 17'

Appeal to employers with furloughed staff, particularly in and around Hinckley

Please see the attachment below which gives details of an URGENT appeal for Care Professionals from Leicestershire County Council.

Appeal to employers with furloughed staff in Leicestershire (pdf)

Please protect your premises

Sadly, in difficult times some crimes increase so here is a link the Police would like us to pass on to you.

Leicestershire Police Crime Prevention

Communities Grants

Leicestershire County Council has established a £1m fund to support the local voluntary and community sector, during the current Coronavirus pandemic. Supporting communities has never been more important – and they want to enable the sector to continue and step up its vital work.

Please note the funding can only be offered to voluntary and community sector organisations to help them to support vulnerable people in Leicestershire, due to the impacts of the current coronavirus pandemic.

Charities, constituted voluntary and community organisations and social enterprises can apply for a maximum of £25,000 for support with the following activities:

Support for core running costs
- for organisations who have experienced a loss of income due to services closing or operating at a reduced level and where this may lead to the permanent closure of the organisation.

Extra staffing - capacity required to meet existing/current or increased demand for services, to support vulnerable people during the crisis.

Adapting services - the need to rapidly adapt current service delivery models to maintain contact with service users.

Equipment - funding for essential ICT, safety (such as PPE) or other essential equipment.

Transport - funding for use of vehicles, transport, fuel etc. to enable visits to service users.

Expenses - funding for increased expenses costs such as reimbursing travel costs for staff/volunteers who need to visit service users, if it safe to do so, in their home or in other locations.

Other - anything else deemed acceptable in relation to the criteria for the fund.

Groups can apply for a grant online, on the Leicestershire Communities website.

Members are invited to bring forward and promote ideas from voluntary and community groups in their local area. The Leader is keen to hear from elected members by email at

Covid-19 Grants and Funding Opportunities

Below is a NEW link of current grants and funding opportunities available to help respond to the Covid-19 pandemic, primarily for voluntary & community sector organisations, including charities and social enterprises. Funding which is applicable to Local Authorities includes an asterisk (*).

Covid 19 Funding Bulletin April 2020 (pdf)

Our very own Hinckley and Rugby Building Society helps ‘Leicestershire Cares’

Joining together with the other four Leicestershire Building Societies to donate £10,000 to ‘Leicestershire Cares’, those who have been affected by hunger, homelessness and domestic abuse during the Coronavirus crisis now have some extra help.

Full details can be found here.

BEWARE OF SCAMMERS – this crisis is bringing them all out and they are getting smarter...

We have been made aware that local businesses are being contacted by people posing as representatives of the LLEP (Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership) and claiming that they have grant funding to offer. Any call from 0330 0529 999, is a scam. In fact, if I receive any messages that start with 0330 I go to Google, input the whole number and very often it comes up as a scam.

Any legitimate grant funding and other information for Businesses via the LLEP can be found on

More details on Furlough and Holiday Pay entitlement for Employees (with thanks to Rosemary Wright)

The government has announced their intention to relax the rules around holidays meaning that employees who have not taken all of their statutory annual leave entitlement due to COVID-19 will now be able to carry it over into the next 2 leave years. The regulations will allow up to 4 weeks of unused leave to be carried into the next 2 leave years.

If there is a holiday during a furlough period, then you should add the holiday onto the furlough period, thus making sure it is over three weeks, but in your claim to HMRC only claim for the weeks outside the holiday period. This should also be explained to the employees in their consent letter, stating that they will receive full pay during the holiday period, and 80% of earning outside it.

Whilst furloughed employees will continue to accrue leave as per their employment contract. Employees can agree with their employer to vary holiday pay entitlement as part of the furlough agreement, however almost all workers are entitled to 5.6 weeks of statutory paid annual leave each year which they cannot go below.

Employees can take holiday whilst on furlough. Working Time Regulations (WTR) require holiday pay to be paid at their normal rate of pay or, where the rate of pay varies, calculated on the basis of the average pay they received in the previous 52 working weeks. Therefore, if an employee does take holiday while on furlough, the employer should pay the usual holiday pay in accordance with the WTR. Employers are obliged to pay the additional amounts over the grant, though they have the flexibility to restrict when leave can be taken if there is a business need. This applies for both the furlough period and the recovery period.

If an employee usually works bank holidays, then the employer can agree that this is included in the grant payment. If an employee usually takes the bank holiday as leave, then the employer can either top up pay to the usual holiday pay level, or give a day of holiday in lieu.

The government has advised that it is keeping the policy on holiday pay during furlough under review during this unprecedented time.

Holidays & Covid-19 FAQs
Can I enforce holidays?
No, if you normally allow employees to select holidays. Yes, if this is a holiday which has already been posted on your notice board, or is a normal shut down such as Easter.

Can an employee change a holiday which he has already booked?
This is up to the employer, you can if you wish insist your employee receives holiday pay for a pre-booked holiday. If you allow the employee to work instead, remember they are still accruing holiday entitlement which they can take when matters return to normal.

What if employees holiday falls when they are self-isolating?
If this is an already agreed shutdown, the company can pay holiday pay (which will be deemed to include SSP) and therefore reduce the holiday accrual. If it is an elected holiday by the employee, they can choose to postpone it and continue to receive SSP. In this case the employee will still accrue holiday to be taken on his return to work.

Can I stop a key worker from taking holiday at a particular time?
If it is pre-booked, only by agreement.

What if an employee asks me if they can take holiday instead of being furloughed in order to achieve 100% of normal earnings?
An employee must give a company two weeks’ notice of a request for a holiday of 2 weeks, and the employer can refuse if they give an alternative date. However, many companies are allowing requests for holidays in these troubled times.

UKFT is in constant dialogue with the government and is outlining the latest support available for businesses on our website. We will update the details as and when the situation changes.


Best wishes to everyone, stay safe and well and please remember, we are here to help.