Coronavirus [Covid-19] Updates

Friday 11th September 2020

COVID-19 Agency Staff Re-entry Plan

The following outlines how Empowering Learning is preparing for your safe re-entry into schools and educational settings. Empowering Learning is here to ensure that we are ready to support you when you return to working with children in schools.

At Empowering Learning, we will continue to communicate with you to ensure that you have a clear understanding of government guidance for COVID-19 school and educational setting workplace assignments. Your personal wellbeing and health are of the utmost importance to all concerned.

Our communication with you is to ensure that you have a clear understanding and access to the most recent government guidance for schools and educational setting.

However, before booking you into an assignment, we have a duty of care to ask if you have experienced any coronavirus symptoms or if you are living with someone with symptoms. If so, then you need to notify us prior to accepting any work assignment and then follow government guidance for shielding.

It is required that our consultants ask the following pre-screening questions prior to placing you in a work assignment:
• Do you have any Coronavirus symptoms?
• Have you been in contact with anyone who has Coronavirus symptoms?

If you answer ‘yes’ to these questions the consultant will advise you to stay at home and not leave your home for at least 10 days from when the symptoms commenced, if you live alone, or for 14 days should you live with someone who has symptoms. In these instances, you will not be offered the assignment.

Effective Infection Protection and Control

Although there is clear guidance from central government with regards to the wearing of facemasks in educational settings (see below) in line with the requirements of the setting and role, we recommend that you wear a facemask whilst travelling to and from your assignment, and on arrival be prepared to follow the guidance set out by the setting you are assigned to.

For school and educational setting government guidance states:

“Wearing a face covering or face mask in schools or other education settings is not recommended. Face coverings may be beneficial for short periods indoors where there is a risk of close social contact with people you do not usually meet and where social distancing and other measures cannot be maintained, for example on public transport or in some shops. This does not apply to schools or other education settings. Schools and other education or childcare settings should therefore not require staff, children and learners to wear face coverings. Changing habits, cleaning and hygiene are effective measures in controlling the spread of the virus.”
(Coronavirus (COVID-19): implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings – 1 June 2020 [GOV.UK])

Please follow the above link and familiarise yourself further by reading the full guidance for schools and educational settings prior to commencing your assignment. This guidance is being monitored and we will update you as government guidance changes. However, should client schools or educational settings you are assigned to require any additional compliance for the setting, please inform your managing consultant at your earliest opportunity, so that they are aware and can support if required.

Setting Risk Assessment

We ask clients to share their plans and procedures with regards to COVID-19 Health and Safety practices relevant to the setting, such as social distancing and PPE on site with us prior to you arriving for your assignment. We also ask them to inform you on arrival on the first day of assignment and to inform you of any updates you are required to follow.

Should you have any questions, please contact your managing consultant. Thank you.

Monday 20th July 2020

We, along with our umbrella companies, are pleased to confirm we are continuing to furlough qualifying candidates throughout August.

If you have any questions, please get in contact with your local consultant.

Thank you.

Friday 22nd May 2020

Those who qualify to receive furlough payments under the CJRS will have received an email with instructions on how to register to make sure you receive your furlough payments.

It’s imperative that you respond to the email ahead of the deadline of Monday 25th May 2020 at 2pm.

If you have not received an email regarding the furlough scheme but believe you should have or if you have any other questions please contact your local Empowering Learning team as soon as possible.

Monday 6th April 2020

Further information regarding the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is still pending. We are awaiting clarification on how payments are to be calculated for workers who work on an ad hoc, day-to-day basis. We will update this guidance once we have more information.

Monday 30th March 2020

The government has issued guidance on their Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (JRS). This may be of benefit to agency workers who were on our PAYE payroll on 28th February 2020.

What is the Job Retention Scheme?

The JRS is a temporary scheme which has been introduced by our government and currently applies for three months as of 1st March 2020.

Employers can claim for 80% of “furloughed employees” salary, up to £2,500 per month. This includes employer’s pension and national insurance contributions. Furloughed employees are those employees who are not working due to school closures. Any payments are subject to standard PAYE deductions at source.

However, we are waiting for the government to issue further guidance on how the JRS will work. The government have said that the scheme will be running by the end of April 2020. We will keep you posted regarding developments on this.

So what information are we waiting for?

It is currently unclear as to how the 80% of salaries will be calculated for temporary workers and what time periods or work history those calculations are to be based upon. It is also unclear as to when we the employer will receive the government grant to enable us to pay temporary workers under the JRS.

There are also other unknown factors at the moment because it is a new scheme. We will, however, notify workers to confirm their status under the “furlough” guidance, once full government guidance has been received. We will then provide all qualifying workers with information at that time.

There is currently no need for temporary workers to complete any forms or sign-up for anything online. Once we receive further guidance about the JRS process we will provide guidance.

We would like to confirm that we will comply with everything required of us once the JRS process goes live.


The following link provides guidance on applying for Universal Credit: Guidance for Universal Credit

The following link provides guidance on applying for Statutory Sick Pay: Government – Statutory Sick Pay

Supporting Information

We regularly update our staff with information from:

Guidance documents: