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New flexibility in furlough as economy restart enters new phase

It’s fair to say that just a few months ago the word furlough was not in the vocabulary of the vast majority of the population.

However, as the summer kicks in and the UK tries to recover from the economic turmoil of Covid19, furlough and furloughing are words that acutely mean an awful lot to many of us.

Around 9 million people have temporarily found themselves out of work, but receiving their salaries, since the scheme first came into being, with the Government paying the bill for those out of work. However, with firms having to start paying a contribution from August and the furlough scheme ending in October, the next few months will be telling for the livelihoods of many the length and breadth of the land.

From the start of July, employers will only be allowed to furlough those workers who have already been furloughed for a minimum period of 3 weeks, which means that the last date on which employers could furlough employees for the first time was on June 10th.

So from the start of this month (1st July) there is a more flexible furlough, which includes part time arrangements, and the minimum furlough period of three consecutive weeks will no longer be applicable.

These flexible furlough agreements can last for any period going forward and employers will be required to keep new written agreements when implementing a furlough of this nature.

Also, the employer must pay workers in full for the hours worked, with the grants the employers have had from the Government remaining available for hours not worked.

The guidance, as outlined by the chancellor on May 29th shows how the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) grants will tail off over the next few months.

More details of how it works are outlined here.

The whole issue has led to our employment team like many employment specialists finding themselves much in demand in these rapidly changing times.

Unquestionably, even with the government’s help certain areas of the economy will be hit hard in the foreseeable future. It means that good employees will lose their jobs. It also has employers navigating themselves along a path, which has many pitfalls.

Regardless of whether you need employment advice in Staines or elsewhere in the country, we will be able to advise and guide you through these uncertain times, keeping ourselves abreast of all matters and explaining the actions needed to proceed in an effective manner.

Please do contact us today. We’re here to help.