Statement on coronavirus (COVID-19)

An official statement from Zellis on coronavirus.

Zellis

Apr 17th 2020

At Zellis, we are firmly committed to delivering our services and solutions to the highest possible standard during the global coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, whilst protecting the health and well-being of colleagues, customers and suppliers.

We understand the importance of partnering with our customers during times of uncertainty to create assurance that the right procedures are in place to ensure the safe continuation of business. We know that these are extremely difficult and unpredictable circumstances for businesses, so we are working to provide additional support for our customers where they may need it.

In this statement we aim to provide clarity on our current approach. Please note we will update this page as new information is made available to us. We suggest you visit this page frequently to keep up-to-date.

Business continuity and resilience

We have business continuity plans in place to manage a variety of potential events, including the impact of an epidemic/pandemic. Although there are a growing number of cases of coronavirus confirmed in countries in which our colleagues and services are based (the UK, the Republic of Ireland, and India), we are doing all we can to prepare for every eventuality.

i. Monitoring the development of the outbreak

As part of our business continuity planning, we have a team in place from across the Zellis group who are carefully and constantly monitoring the development of the outbreak. This includes daily monitoring of the advice and guidance issued by:

  • The Government of the United Kingdom
  • The Government of the Republic of Ireland
  • The Government of the Republic of India
  • The World Health Organisation (WHO)

This puts us in a stronger position to react promptly to support our colleagues and customers as and when the situation changes.

ii. Protecting and supporting our colleagues

In light of the rapid spread of coronavirus, we have taken several steps to both protect the health and safety our colleagues and to ensure, as far as possible, that they are able to continue carrying out their job responsibilities.

We have:

  • Rapidly progressed our work-from-home capabilities for those colleagues who can fulfil their day-to-day responsibilities at home. The overwhelming majority of our colleagues are now able to work from home.
  • Taken action so that all colleagues within our Managed Services division are able to work from home – and deployed this for nearly all roles.
  • Rolled out training on privacy and security good practice in a home environment for all work-from-home colleagues.
  • Reduced any non-essential travel between our office locations.
  • Reviewed and adjusted internal controls to safeguard information security.
  • Scheduled frequent internal communications to provide updates and guidance to our colleagues.

Supporting your colleagues: 6 months’ free access to OneHub | Recognition

In these tough times it is so important to keep your team’s morale up and to recognise people going to extraordinary lengths to support customers and colleagues. That’s why Benefex (which is a Zellis company) is giving away 6 months' access (and 12 months for NHS and frontline businesses), to its social recognition software, OneHub | Recognition free of charge to any Zellis customer - or indeed any UK or Irish business which has large numbers of employees.

You can find out more by joining one of the webinars Benefex will be hosting through April. Find out more here.

iii. Business continuity planning and disaster recovery

We are fully prepared to enact part or all of our business continuity plans (BCP) and disaster recovery plans for a particular Zellis site or group of sites, which could include movement of work to alternative locations and/or movement of staff to alternative locations for the work to be performed.

We are also currently engaging with third-party suppliers over their approach to dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, to help reduce any potential impact on Zellis and our customers.

Changes to legislation

We have been closely monitoring the legislative announcements by the UK and Republic of Ireland governments which may affect our customers during the coronavirus outbreak.

Below is a short summary of these changes (information correct as of 17th April 2020):

i. Changes to UK legislation

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

With effect from 13th March 2020, SSP of £94.25 per week (increasing to £95.85 per week from 6th April 2020) will be paid from day one instead of day four for coronavirus-related absences for at least eight months. All other sickness absences that are not connected to coronavirus or self-isolation to prevent spread of this disease will still be subject to a three-day waiting period for SSP.

We have released ResourceLink 23b U02 to deliver the software changes required to process these new rules (see more information below).

Online sick notes

As of 20th March 2020, the government is operating a service to automate the issuing of sick notes via NHS 111. Under the new system, people are able to provide a note to their employer as evidence of absence from work, without having face-to-face contact with GP services.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furloughed workers)

The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support organisations through this period of disruption caused by coronavirus. This includes the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, under which all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.

As of 16th April 2020, ResourceLink 23b U04 has been made available to enable customers to process payments for furloughed workers in accordance with the government guidance. We strongly recommend this software update if you are furloughing workers.

Prior to the release of this software update, we made a pre-release solution available. That solution has now been superseded by ResourceLink 23b U04.

ii. Changes to Republic of Ireland legislation

Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme

On 15th March, the government announced the Employer COVID-19 Refund Scheme to allow employers to make a payment to workers who were temporarily laid off. This has subsequently been superseded by the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme, which is expected to last for 12 weeks from 26th March 2020, and provides for a significant increase in the €203 per employee payment that previously applied. The wage subsidy scheme will be operated by Revenue, rather than the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, and enables employees, whose employers are affected by the pandemic, to receive financial support directly from their employer.

Further information relating to the wage subsidy scheme and how to register can be found on the Revenue website.

In order to support our customers to manage these legislative changes, we have made available ResourceLink 23a U05 and ResourceLink 23b U03 to process the new payments due to employees who have been temporarily laid off but have not ceased employment.

Full details of the new functionality are available in the release notes, and we have released an overview video to take customers through it.

In addition to this learning material, customers can request an RCS application consultancy session to guide them through these changes. To find out more, contact the resource desk or call 01733 397797.

Changes to Illness Benefit

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection announced changes to Illness Benefit, including the removal of waiting days for coronavirus-related absences, and an increase in the rate of payment. We made **ResourceLink 23b U02 **available for customers last week who run Republic of Ireland payrolls and who use the Illness Benefit deductions against the sickness scheme via Leave Management.

Summary of emergency software updates

We have developed ResourceLink 23b U02 to deliver the software changes required to process the new rules for SSP in the UK and Illness Benefit in the Republic of Ireland:

  • It is mandatory for customers who run UK payrolls.
  • It is optional for customers who run only Republic of Ireland payrolls and who use the Illness Benefit deductions against the sickness scheme via Leave Management.

We have also made available ResourceLink 23a U05 and ResourceLink 23b U03 to process the new payments due to employees who have been temporarily laid off, but have not ceased employment, under the Republic of Ireland’s Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme.

ResourceLink 23b U04 has been made available to process payments to furloughed workers in accordance with the UK’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Further information and support

We will continue to watch carefully for new developments as the coronavirus situation unfolds, and adapt our approach accordingly. Please continue to check the Zellis website, the Zellis support portal (if you are a Zellis customer), and our email communications for further updates, advice and information in the coming weeks.

We also want to remind you of our services which can provide additional payroll and HR administration support during this time. Visit our page on coronavirus to find out more about the ways we can help.

We also advise you to look at official government resources to find out more about how you can receive additional business support:

UK government: Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for employees, employers and businesses

Republic of Ireland government: COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information for Employers and Employees

If you are already a Zellis customer, for specific requests and urgent support, please contact your Account Manager in the first instance.

Want to learn more?

If you’d like to discover more about ResourceLink or how our people can help you transform your payroll and HR operations, we’d love to talk.

Talk to us

Related Zellis businesses:

Looking for award-winning employee benefits? Technology and services that recognise and reward your employees? Speak with the team at Benefex. If you're a small or growing business with payroll and HR requirements, Moorepay can help you get ahead.

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