10th June 2020 – this is the last date for workers/employees not previously furloughed to be placed on furlough leave and for the employer to benefit from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). The scheme will close to new entrants on 30th June, meaning that from 1st July employers will only claim under the CJRS who have previously been furloughed for a minimum period of three weeks prior to 30th June. 10th June is the very latest to have had three weeks on furlough before the end of the month.
The CJRS will have greater flexibility come 1st July where furloughed employees/workers will be able to work less than their usual working hours and employers will pay them for the hours worked. The CJRS will continue to make furlough payments for the remainder of their normal hours that they do not work, up to a maximum.
IMPORTANT FACTS TO REMEMBER:-
- There is no legal right or entitlement to be placed on furlough leave, although an employee/worker could make a request to be considered for such leave to their employer. It is, however the employer’s decision.
- There is no right to receive redundancy instead of furlough leave.
- There is no right to be placed on furlough leave as an alternative to redundancy.
- An employer cannot force furlough leave upon an employee.
- An employee cannot be required to use annual leave entitlement whilst on furlough leave.
- Employers can furlough staff who are required to stay at home because they are shielding in line with Public Health Guidance, or because they need to stay at home with a family member that is shielding.
- Non-discriminatory criteria must be used by the employer in selecting who to place on furlough.
- An employer should be aware that a claim must not be made under the CJRS if it is abusive or otherwise contrary to the “exceptional purpose” of the CJRS, which is stated to be the payment of employment costs in respect of furloughed employees “arising from the health, social and economic emergency in the United Kingdom resulting from coronavirus and coronavirus disease”.
- Employers are not legally obliged to “top up” the CJRS pay to the employee/worker.
Our employment law specialist, Jennifer Carpenter, solicitor and partner can answer any queries or concerns you have about furlough leave, employment terms, redundancy and other employment related issues.