Coronavirus in the workplace – some frequently asked questions

Coronavirus in the workplace – some frequently asked questions

I thought it would be useful to speak to a HR specialist about the Coronavirus in the Workplace. What the effects could be on the working day for a small business. I have spoken to a friend of mine, Jane Fryatt from Face2FaceHr, and she has put this article together.

Jane Fryatt

“We have been asked by a number of clients about coronavirus (COVID-19), mainly queries around pay. There is some excellent guidance available from Acas here covering steps employers can take. It is worth having a read of that.
In the meantime, here are some common queries we’ve been asked and my response”.

When someone is self-isolating, do I need to pay them?

If someone is actually ill, your normal sick pay arrangements will apply. If they have been given written notice by a medical professional to isolate themselves, statutory sick pay will apply (and while it’s not a requirement, it would seem sensible to pay any enhanced sick pay you normally offer in these circumstances as well).
 The Government has announced that statutory sick pay will apply from day one rather than day four, and that emergency legislation will be passed to enact this very shortly.
 If someone has just decided to self-isolate, they are not entitled to be paid at all. However, if they are not ill but have been asked by you not to come into work, they should be paid in full as usual.

Jane Fryatt

What happens if employees have to be off because schools shut?

In these circumstances the emergency dependants’ leave provision would apply, i.e. the employee would be entitled to a day or two unpaid leave to resolve the emergency, following which alternative arrangements should be made. Any longer absences should be dealt with using unpaid leave or annual leave.

Should I be developing contingency plans?

Yes it would be a good idea to do this if you haven’t already. Consider how you could make best use of remote working to keep your business going in the event of employees needing to stay at home.
Think about cascading communication of any measures you may need to take, as the situation is changing quickly, and consider how flexible your business can be in terms of keeping going on a skeleton staff if necessary.

Will I have to pay staff if I have to shut the business for a period due to the Coronvirus?

It’s not recommended that you shut your business completely if someone develops symptoms. In the unlikely event you need to do this, you will need to pay staff unless there is provision in your contract or other agreement for you to do otherwise.
 If you’d like any specific advice about the workplace implications of coronavirus, please do get in touch with Jane Fryatt.

If you would like an introduction to Jane via myPA Virtual Services contact me.

Image taken from

How do I copy a Formula in Excel

How do I copy a Formula in Excel

As a Virtual PA, I get asked for advice on how to use or do a simple function within a Microsoft package, today I have been asked how do I copy a formula in excel.  For those of us who use the software all the time, it is almost second nature and can be difficult to explain.  Nevertheless, some people don’t use Microsoft packages daily and need a little more help.  Most Virtual PAs ask you to send the document to them so they can do the work for you.

Therefor, today I will be explaining how to copy a formula in excel from one cell to another.  Any experienced Virtual PA will be able to do this for you in about 15 seconds.  This would include opening the document, making the change, and then saving and returning the document to you.  This does not, however, teach you how to do the task yourself and can cause hours of distress and frustration. 

For this reason, myPA Virtual Services have decided that we are going to run a series of blog posts that will teach you how to do these tasks.  We hope that you will find the instructions easy to understand and increase your knowledge of Microsoft.



How do I copy a formula in Excel from one cell to another?

  1. Open the Excel Document and locate the cell with the formula. 

    A cell is an individual area on an excel sheet, a square, highlighted in the table below.  From this image below we have highlighted cell A1.  In an Excel document, you will have a Workbook, a Sheet, Columns, and Rows.  A cell is contained in a workbook, which is on a sheet that is located in one column and one row.
Excel Cells, what is a cell in excel
How do I copy a formula in excel
  • Select the cell you want to copy – A1 for example.
  • On your keyboard select CTRL button and C at the same time, see the image below.
How do I copy a formula in excel and how do I copy.

Alternatively, right click on your mouse and a new screen will appear.  From here select copy.  You have now copied the cell sum/information

How do I copy a formula in excel and I copy in excel
  • Move the cursor to the cell you wish to put the formula.
  • On your keyboard select CTRL button and V.

Alternatively, right click on your mouse and select Paste

How do I copy a formula in excel and how do I Paste.

You have now copied the sum/formula you wanted.

Excel Thesaurus

  • Workbook        The whole excel document
  • A Sheet           Within the document you can have some sheets.  Look at the bottom left of your workbook; you will see the word Sheet1.  This is your first sheet.  To add a new Sheet select the + button to the right.
How do I copy a formula in excel and what is a sheet in excel
  • A column         A column is the vertical lines in the workbook and are annotated with Letters.
How do I copy a formula in excel and what is a column in excel
  • A Row             A row is the horizontal lines in the workbook and are annotated with numbers.
How do I copy a formula in excel and what is a row in excel
Being Proactive when your in charge

Being Proactive when your in charge

Proactive PAs and Secretaries are organised and efficient

Planning your day to be proactive

When you think of a Business Owner, you immediately think of someone organised, who is ultra-efficient and is the master of all business matters and interests. In effect, being proactive. Being Proactive is management speech stating that ‘a person is creating or controlling a situation rather than just responding to it after it has happened’. (more…)

How to take a break and run a business

How to take a break and run a business

Start up home business and holiday time

Start up small business and vacation time

Taking a break for a small business or entrepreneurs can be a very stressful time. If you own a business or are the only person in the business, then the thought of losing clients and money could ensure you never take a holiday. Some business owners falsely believed that if a business owner decides to take a break, then the business will fail and all their customers will go elsewhere. As a business owner, you need to learn how to take a break and run a business for your own peace of mind and that of the business. On the other hand, for most employees, it’s an enjoyable experience and staff look forward to their holidays.  Plans for the holiday start weeks, sometimes months in advance.  Money spent on hotels, flights and money exchanged.  The countdown to the holiday (more…)

Business Expectations for Small Businesses

Business Expectations for Small Businesses


Business Expectations can drive business goals

When starting a business, the owner or director will have some business expectations. The first expectation will be, the business will be a success. Secondly, there will be financial rewards and personal achievement. Very few people start a new business expecting it to fail or have limited financial reward. The new business owner will be looking forward to creating fantastic relationships with both clients and suppliers. A relationship that will ensure:

  • Their clients will value their product or service
  • Clients will become an advocate for their business
  • Invoices paid on time and in full
  • Clients will be courteous and respectful


Having a dog in the office as Stress Relief

Having a dog in the office as Stress Relief


A dog in the office can help reduce stress

Working in any office can be stressful, however, with a dog in the office, stress levels are reduced considerably. It doesn’t matter if you work for yourself, work on your own or in a corporate environment, stress is now a factor in our working lives. The skill we have to master is trying to manage that stress.  We also have to be aware of when our stress levels are overflowing. It is true that we all can manage a certain amount of stress, we are hard wired for it, but an overflow can be dangerous and unproductive.


There are many tools, therapies and strategies on the market to help elevate stress, but have you thought about have a dog in the office?