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Employment law for employees & Employment law for employers

FURLOUGH SCHEME: TODAY IS DEADLINE for furloughing employees

Midnight tonight, Wednesday 10 June 2020, is the last possible opportunity for employers to agree with their employee/s that they are going onto furlough immediately if they have not been previously furloughed – with the new exception of parents returning from maternity and paternity leave.

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Midnight tonight, Wednesday 10 June 2020, is the last possible opportunity for employers to agree with their employee/s that they are going onto furlough immediately  if they have not been previously furloughed – with the new exception of parents returning from maternity and paternity leave.

The government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is closing to new entrants, i.e. employees who have not yet been furloughed, on 30 June 2020. From that date onwards employers will only be able to furlough employees they have already furloughed for a full 3-week period (which is the minimum furlough period allowed by the scheme). Counting backwards, that means that today, 10 June 2020, is the last possible date on which an employee who has not previously been furloughed can be placed on furlough.

If an employee has not been furloughed by 10 June 2020 their employer will permanently lose the chance to take advantage of the scheme in respect of that employee.

This means that the final date by which an employer needs to agree with their employee and ensure they place them on furlough is 10 June. Employers will have until 31 July to make any claims in respect of the period to 30 June.

The scheme has been extended to 31 October (albeit in a different form from the current scheme – we will circulate a separate bulletin on this point), so it is entirely plausible that at some point between then and now an employer’s position may change meaning that they do need to utilise the furlough scheme after all. If that is a position an employer would like to reserve, or had been intending to rotate employees on the furlough scheme, they need to furlough employees not previously furloughed now for a full three weeks before 30 June 2020.

The new exception…

 Yesterday, 9 June 2020, the government announced a new exception to this rule which is that parents on statutory maternity and paternity leave who return to work in the coming months after a long period of absence will be permitted to be furloughed – even if they themselves have not completed the three week minimum of furlough before the end of June. This will only apply where they work for an employer who has previously furloughed other employees.

For the avoidance of doubt, the exception also applies to those parents who have been on adoption leave, shared parental leave, and parental bereavement leave.

If you would like any bespoke advice on how to utilise the furlough scheme for the benefit of your business, or for any other employment matter, please contact the Collyer Bristow Employment Team for up to 30 minutes’ free advice.

lose the chance to take advantage of the scheme in respect of that employee.

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Tania Goodman

Partner - Head of Employment

tania.goodman@collyerbristow.com