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Furlough Leave Update For Employers
September 2020

Today marks the very visible beginning of the end for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

As you will be aware there has been a gradual reduction in the scheme which was extended until 31st October 2020.

July saw the introduction of the flexible furlough scheme where employees were permitted to work whilst on furlough to support the transition and push to return to work. The scheme was also closed to new applicants from 30th June 2020.

August saw the introduction of the employer’s responsibility for ER NICS and pension but retained the Government contribution to 80% of wages up to the cap of £2,500. There was no requirement for employers to contribute to wages.

However, from today, 1st September 2020, employers must contribute at least 10% of salary for those benefitting from the furlough scheme (adding to the payments of employer’s NIC and minimum statutory pension payments). That means the cost of retaining employees on the furlough scheme becomes much more noticeable for employers.

This leaves employers in a difficult position particularly in areas that continue to be adversely affected by the economic consequences of the coronavirus.

It is crucial that employers do not act impulsively but consider all options open to them.

Such considerations may be:

– Reduction of hours;
– Part time working;
– Short time working;
– Lay off;
– Increased flexible working including possible job share;
– Redundancy.

It is important, particularly in these uncertain times that employers follow process and further consider whether their policies, procedures and contractual documentation is fit for purpose and will allow employers to achieve their objectives.

How can we help?

We have brought on board a new Head of Employment who can advise employers, review all documents you currently have in place and guide you through the vast and complicated area of employment law.

This will ensure you have advice as and when required, up to date policies and procedures and any letters and documents drafted to ensure they are legally compliant. We will also ensure you are kept up to date with any changes with our fortnightly newsletter.

All this can be done by way of a fixed fee arrangement on a monthly or annual basis. This will ensure that no matter what issues arise your costs remain the same. In such uncertain times this will provide a level of certainty.

Sharon Auld has worked in employment law for 20 plus years and has focussed on acting solely for employers. She has acted for large limited companies to smaller SME’s. The advice has ranged from general day to day employment advice to complex TUPE issues to discrimination.

Sharon prides herself on her personal relationships with clients and on her commercial, no nonsense advice tailored to ensure that the needs and objectives of the business can be met. If you need any advice or wish to discuss the service in more detail please contact our Marketing Director Alessandro Paletta on ap@jolliffes.com or call us on 01244 310 022.

Official government advice can be viewed at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wages-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

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