Furlough Leave Update…

Date Added 15.05.20

Whilst it may feel like Groundhog Day, but the calendar reliably tells us, at time of writing, that it’s 14th May 2020. Already since 12th May 2020, a couple of things have happened in relation to the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), or Furlough Leave as we’re all calling it. We have become used to this being an area constantly under review and at Tollers, we’ve been keeping up with the changes, to make sure that you can too.

So what’s changed?

Extension of Furlough Leave:

On 12th May 2020 the Government announced that it was extending Furlough Leave until the end of October 2020. However, what that might look like from 1st August 2020 is yet to be clarified. We’ll let you know when it is.

What we do know is that until 31st July 2020, nothing will change as far as Furlough Leave and the Furlough Payments are concerned. In reality, it’s an extension to the previous one, which was until 30th June 2020. From 1st August 2020 though it is likely to be different. Whilst Furlough Leave is still an option, the Government have said that staff can start to be brought back part-time. This is likely to mean that employers will need to contribute towards the cost. We’ll let you know more when we do.

Compelling staff to take annual leave whilst on Furlough Leave:

A lot of companies have been asking about requesting that staff take holiday whilst on Furlough Leave. We have been advising our clients on this and giving our views. We’ve known for a few weeks now that annual leave can be taken whilst on Furlough Leave with employers topping up the pay for those days to 100%. On 13th May 2020 the Government confirmed that employers can tell staff to take annual leave whilst on Furlough Leave. This is clarity that a lot of companies have been waiting for. However, in requiring staff to use up their holiday, companies should consider whether staff can relax and are not having to do anything such as self-isolating or socially distancing that “would prevent the worker from resting, relaxing and enjoying leisure time, which is the fundamental purpose of holiday.”

What does this mean to me?

Well, you can keep your staff on Furlough Leave for longer and you can require them to use some of their accrued holiday entitlement at the same time. However, if you have communicated an end date to staff in your Furlough Leave Letters or Agreements, you may need their consent to extend it, or you could ask them to return. If you have any concerns about this then please talk to Tollers… We’re here for you. Asking staff to return is also being met with its own challenges, again we can advise you on this.

You may also be feeling that redundancies are becoming more unavoidable.  At Tollers we have a variety of options that could assist you. We offer fixed cost redundancy management products as well as tailored bespoke advice to help you through this challenging time. To find out more about how we can help you then please talk to Tollers… on 01604 258558 and a member of the Employment team will be happy to discuss this further with you.  We’re here for you.

https://www.tollers.co.uk/employment-law-solicitors/redundancy-and-restructuring/

https://www.tollers.co.uk/employment-law-solicitors/tollers-hr/

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