Just a few weeks ago, most people would have raised their eyebrows and quickly consulted the diary had the word ‘Furlough’ been used.  Since Covid-19 we’ve become conversant with the term, as well as others words that have entered our everyday language.   Our HR/Employment Consultant, Sue has put together an update on furlough and returning to work.

Useful points to know

  • The Furlough Scheme is open until 31 October 2020 for those still without work to do.
  • From 1 July 2020, those with some work to do but not enough for the full role can be part furloughed.
  • Furlough can be used for shielding employees or employees who live with those who are shielding.
  • It could also be used for employees who will struggle to return because of childcare issues. An employer should not assume that it’s all or nothing until the schools are fully open – and should talk to employees about their situation.
  • Employees who are off sick will get statutory sick pay, but with the employer’s agreement, they can be furloughed.
  • 10 June 2020 is the last date employers can put people on furlough for the first time.
  • 1 August is when employers will need to start paying the employer’s national insurance and pension contributions.
  • On 1 September the government will pay 70% of wages. From 1 October this will go down to 60%
  • The furlough scheme will close on 31 October 2020.

Have you done your risk assessment?

Employees have an element of protection if they believe that returning to work would put them at risk of serious danger.  Before disciplining those who appear to have no valid reasons not to return, an employer must ensure that there is a risk assessment and measures put in place to deal with the risks identified.  These could include social distancing measures,  deep cleaning, hand sanitisers, plastic screens and varying start and finish times.

Please do get in touch if you’d like further guidance.  You can book a 15 minute Law Chat here for free using the code LawChat15.