Print Icon

Newsletter                                         December 2020


Happy Festive Season to All 

Welcome to our December Newsletter

On 26th November, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that as of 2nd December, England will enter a new tougher tiered system of restrictions. 

Below is a summary of the restrictions within each tier:

Tier 1:
  • Meet up to 6 people indoors or outdoors
  • All shops open 
  • All personal care open
  • Pubs and restaurants are open with table service and last orders at 10pm with closure at 11pm
  • Places of worship open (maintain social distancing and only mix within rule of 6/household)
  • Entertainment venues open
  • Up to 15 guests for weddings, receptions and wakes, 30 guests at funerals
  • Can go away for the night with up to 6 people 
  • Gyms and swimming pools open
  • If travelling from a lower tier to a higher tier, the restrictions in the higher tier apply 

Tier 2:
  • Meet up to 6 people outdoors only
  • All shops open
  • All personal care open
  • Pubs and restaurants open but alcohol only served with a meal
  • Places of worship open (maintain social distancing and only mix within rule of 6/ household)
  • Entertainment venues open· Up to 15 guests for weddings, receptions and wakes.· 30 guests at funerals
  • Can go away for the night with your household or bubble
  • Gyms and swimming pools open
  • If travelling from a lower tier to a higher tier, the restrictions in the higher tier apply

Tier 3:
  • Up to 6 people in public outdoor spaces
  • All shops open
  • All personal care open
  • Pubs and restaurants closed- takeaway and delivery service only
  • Places of worship open (maintain social distancing and only mix within rule of6/household)
  • Entertainment venues closed· No wedding receptions 
  • Can only go away for the night if its for work or study
  • Gyms and swimming pools open
  • If travelling from a lower tier to a higher tier, the restrictions in the higher tier apply 
Please note, the above restrictions are for England only. For further guidance please visit the HMRC website. See below for access to guidance on other areas in the United Kingdom.

  • Following a 2-week firebreak lockdown, Wales introduced the following measures
  • Two households can join and form a bubble 
  • People should only meet their bubble in their own home 
  • Up to 15 people can participate in an organised indoor activity and up to 30 outside
  • Non-essential businesses re-open
  • Local authority services resumed
  • No travel restrictions inside Wales but only essential travel over the boarder with England will be allowed (e.g., for work)On 30th November, there was an announcement that some restrictions were to change again as of 4th December
  • Pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes will have to close by 6pm and will not be allowed to serve alcohol buy they can provide takeaway services after 6pm· Indoor entertainment venues shall close


Northern Ireland:  


 Furlough Update

We have summarised the current requirements of the job retention scheme. 

As a reminder: - 
  • Employees will receive 80% of their usual salary for hours not worked paid, by the government up to £2500 per month, with Employers paying NICS and pension contributions 
  • Employers can claim even if they, or the employees, had not previously used CJRS
  • Employees can either be furloughed on a part time or full-time basis for a minimum of seven days and this can change on a weekly basis depending on business need
  • You must notify employees in advance what hours you want them to work the following week
  • You should pay employees 100% of their contractual salary for any hours worked
  • You can choose to top up their salary on the dates that they are on furlough leave but this is not obligatory
  • Employers can claim for employees who were employed and on their PAYE payroll on 30 October 2020

Employees can be furloughed where they are unable to work because they :

  • Are shielding in line with public health guidance(or need to stay at home with someone who is shielding)
  • Have caring responsibilities resulting from coronavirus, including employees that need to look after children 

Time Limits for Furlough Claims:



Christmas Parties…with a twist

As we are all aware, things are very different this year in so many ways. 

But as the festive season approaches, a lot of businesses are wondering how they will celebrate Christmas and organise their yearly Christmas parties whilst sticking to the new normal.

With the current restrictions in place, parties are not able to commence, so the question is, how do you hold the annual Christmas party? 

Thanks to the rise in use of ‘Zoom’ and other web-based communications, businesses have come up with ideas to suit the current situation whilst still enjoying some festive cheer. Some ideas of virtual Christmas parties to enjoy over video call include:

  • Christmas cocktail making- why not send your employees a cocktail making package through the post and hold a video call hosted by a bartender who will give a demonstration of bar skills so everyone will learn how to mix famous 
  • Quiz·  
  • Karaoke/singalong-play some music and sing along with your colleagues.
  • Meal- you could organise a catering company to deliver out a lovely 3 course meal for your employees to enjoy in the comfort of their own home whist chatting away over video call, you won’t even realise you’re apart!
  • Horse racing events- online computerised horse racing will allow individuals to study and choose each runner for each race before deciding how much fun money they want to bet and on which runner
  • Murder mystery- task teams with the challenge of solving all kinds of clues, examining evidence & hunting for suspects to unravel the crime
  • Escape room- using app-based technology, teams go head-to-head to battle it out and find hidden clues, complete puzzles, and hunt for mystery information to successfully escape the room 
  • Gameshow- everyone goes head-to-head in a variety of hilarious rounds that promise to offer something for everyone 
  • Musical bingo

Health & Safety

Contingency Plans for the Winter 

So far this year the weather has been quite mild, but the temperature is dropping. 
Wurkplace can help create and implement contingency plans for businesses dedicated to keeping the company premises free from accidents. As an employer it is your duty to stay compliant with Health and Safety legislation and keep your staff and site visitors free from harm. 

To do this, you must consider:
  • Remember to keep pathways clear, areas that people are likely to walk (i.e., car parks, in front of offices, etc.) 
  • Buy ample amounts of salt and grit before stocks run low as last year many suppliers ran out and this resulted in a few unnecessary accidents occurring
  • Salt and grit work better when applied the night before so spread it in problem areas before you go home rather than when you get to work in the morning
  • Wear sensible footwear and try to communicate this to your staff
  • Water spilt on concrete will freeze overnight or even during the day if it’s very cold so monitor areas and do not use hot water to defrost car windscreens
  • Record all accidents and act on problems before they can cause serious accidents and injury
  • Be flexible – if bad weather stops staff getting in then see if alternative arrangements can be made
  • Make sure all relevant internal and external lighting is working, especially around any steps, ramps, or car parks. Replace broken bulbs quickly
Finally be careful of entrance areas to any buildings as these can become slippery. Make appropriate arrangements early to save paying the price later.   


Team News

Here at Wurkplace it's has been a very busy couple of months. 

We are back in the office and getting in to the festive spirit with the team decorating our Wurkplace Christmas tree.

Our Christmas Tree      

We are also expanding our team and recruiting for various roles such as a:
  • Business Development Manager
  • Trainees in the following departments: HR, Health & Safety & Sales
  • Telesales Representative 
  • Health and Safety Consultant  
We look forward to the new year, continuing to grow and work with our clients through these turbulent times.


From Our Blog & Webinars



Wurkplace Live: HR Advice for Employers & Employees Thursday10th December @ 10am