Greystone Legal partner Paul Humble offers some useful furlough advice during the Covid-19 pandemic…
During these very challenging times for business, employers throughout the country have been required to utilise the government’s new “Furlough Leave” scheme to lay off staff in the hope that they can be re-engaged once the economy starts to move again.
All employers should be aware of the key points of the scheme:
• You can only claim for employees who were on the payroll at on 28 February 2020.
• The furlough period must be for a minimum duration of three weeks to qualify.
• Employees cannot carry out any work during the furlough period.
• Employers can claim 80% of an employee’s average pay, capped at £2500 a month, and can recover employer national insurance contributions.
There remains a lack of detail around many aspects of the scheme. Common questions being asked are: How does furlough work alongside holidays? What about short-time working? What about paying pensions and other benefits during furlough leave?
Some of these questions still require specific government guidance but there are steps you should be taking to ensure that your business is best protected to steer through the next few difficult weeks.
In particular, the manner in which you implement furlough is likely to be essential to ensure that you are covered under the scheme, and it is important to remember that normal employment law principles apply.
This means that, if you do not have a contractually right to lay off employees, it is advisable to obtain their written consent before implementing a period of furlough.
Greystone Legal, based on Aycliffe Business Park, are providing regular updates on Coronavirus and employment law at www.greystone.legal and can be contacted by telephone 01325 787007.
Partner, Greystone Legal