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News Report Page 6 of 18
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Acas urges workers in Britain to speak to their bosses about taking holiday as 4 in 10 report taking less time off during Pandemic

NEW research by Acas has found that around 4 in 10 British employees (39%) have taken less paid time off work during the Pandemic compared to before it started. Acas commissioned YouGov to ask British employees workers about how much annual leave or paid time off they had taken since the start of the Pandemic when compared to previous years. The poll also found that the results varied depending on the size of the organisation:-

44% of employees at small to medium sized businesses (249 people or less) were less likely to have taken paid time off.

35% of employees in large businesses (employ more than 250 people) were less likely to have taken paid time off.

Acas advice is that it is important for people to take time off to get rest, to keep both physically and mentally healthy and to use their holiday entitlement within their current leave year where they can.

Susan Clews, Acas Chief Executive, said:- "Our poll findings are unsurprising as many workers may have taken advantage of a new law introduced last year, which allows them to carry over most of their paid time off into this year. Whilst the easing of Pandemic restrictions is good news for many businesses, many staff will be keen to use up the leave they have saved up to take advantage of the summer season. Acas advice is for employees to agree any holiday plans with their managers and keep them updated on any new COVID developments that could impact work such as travel quarantine or being asked to self isolate."

Acas has advice for employers and employees on taking leave, what the rules are and what has changed as well as information on what to do if you need to self isolate when returning from abroad. In 2020, the Government introduced a law allowing employees and workers to carry over up to 4 weeks statutory paid holiday into their next two holiday leave years. This law applies for any holiday that staff do not take due to Covid19.

Acas advice on taking paid time off includes:-

Workers should try and make requests for paid holiday throughout their holiday year.

If holiday plans suddenly change due to Covid19 then employees should get in touch with their boss to agree alternative options for time off.

Get any time off requests in as soon as possible as employers need to plan staff cover for their businesses and are unlikely to agree staff all taking holiday at the same time.

It's important to check the latest Government guidance before and after travelling:-

People who need to self isolate should not leave their home to go to work, but can work from home if it's agreed with their employer.

If an employee cannot do their job from home, they should talk to their employer to agree what type of leave to use.

Employees and workers are not entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if they're self isolating after travel abroad and cannot work from home. But an employer can choose to pay them sick pay at the same rate as SSP or a higher rate if they want to.

For the full Acas advice on paid time off please visit:- Acas.Org.UK/Holiday-Sickness-Leave and for self isolation please visit:- Acas.Org.UK.

Sefton's Summer School Meals 2021

SEFTON Council and its partners are once again leading the way in providing food to Schoolchildren in need throughout the 2021 summer holidays. Now in its 6th year, the much needed provision will see Sefton Council and Sefton Council For Voluntary Services (Sefton CVS) plate up thousands of hot meals for those children who need them. As in 2020, families who have had their income significantly affected by the impact of the Covid19 Pandemic will also be eligible for the scheme. More than 5 000 meals, in the form of takeaway packed lunches, are served through the scheme. Sefton Council is again working in partnership with Sefton Council for Voluntary Service (CVS) to co-ordinate additional access to food with local Voluntary, Community and Faith (VCF) sector organisations across the borough.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council's Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing said:- "This is always a very important service to provide and we continue to do all we can to help people who would otherwise struggle to put food on the table. We have had families tell us that without this service, they would have to miss paying bills to meet the extra cost of feeding their children during the long summer months. Sadly, there is a need for schemes such as the Access To Food Programme and we are delighted that we are once again able to help and support those families that are most in need within our communities."

It comes after Sefton confirmed funding for free School meals over the 6 week School Summer Holidays. That scheme to support children and families who receive free School meals will, once again, work through the provision of supermarket vouchers. As with previous holiday vouchers, they will be valid to buy food in store and online at local supermarkets.

Angela White, Chief Executive of Sefton CVS said:- "We understand that the summer holidays can be an extremely challenging time for some families. We are pleased to be working alongside Sefton Council to offer a coordinated response to meet the needs of our local communities."

The scheme will run until September 2021, with those families eligible for the scheme being notified in advance of where to collect their meals.


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