The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been extended by the Government until 30th September 2021. However, from 1st July 2021 the level of the grant will be reduced and employers will need to contribute towards the cost of employees on furlough leave. Any employee/worker on furlough leave must receive as a minimum 80% of their pay, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. In July employers will need to pay 10% and then 20% in August and September.
The CJRS is designed to help prevent staff from losing their job if they are unable to work as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic in circumstances where they would otherwise have been made redundant. There is, however no right to demand furlough leave from an employer, and no obligation upon an employee to agree to furlough leave if proposed by an employer. Guidance has already made it clear that furlough leave ,and therefore the CJRS, can be used for employees shielding, unable to work due to child care or other caring commitments. Presently, the scheme is most likely to be used by those in the hospitality, beauty and retail sectors but as the Government’s Roadmap moves forward this should reduce those unable to work due to pandemic related restrictions.
Does furlough leave have to be at full pay?
No, but for furlough leave to be lawful, and not in breach of contract, the staff member must give express consent, including to a reduction in their pay. An employer can choose to top up the pay to the full amount if they wish, but is only a legal requirement of CJRS that the employee receives a minimum of 80% pay (subject to the cap).
Does furlough leave have to be full time?
Since July last year furlough can be used flexibly so staff can work some of their contracted hours, or be on a rota system whereby they take it in turns with colleagues to be on furlough leave, or be working.
Can redundancies be made whilst staff are on furlough leave?
An employee can be made redundant whilst on furlough.
What is the position with regard to notice?
Full notice must be given and at full pay.
Is the rate of pay for redundancy affected for those on furlough leave?
Statutory redundancy payments for those that are eligible must be calculated by reference to a normal week’s full gross pay, not furlough pay rates.
If you are considering making redundancies then we can give you the legal advice and guidance to enable you to adhere to the statutory requirements and procedures; or to help explore alternatives with you. Please call us on 01799 523441