End of the furlough scheme
The furlough scheme is ending soon – what next?
The Coronavirus Job Retention scheme is due to close at the end of September and this will mean that any furlough agreements that employers have in place with their employees will also come to an end.
Therefore when the scheme closes, employers must decide to either:
- bring their employees back to work on their normal agreed terms and conditions; or
- terminate their employment (Please note that normal redundancy rules apply to furloughed employees); or
- agree with their employees any changes to terms and conditions of employment. (Please note that the rules for contractual changes apply to furloughed employees). If any contractual changes are agreed, either on a temporary or permanent these should be recorded in writing.
To bring furlough leave to an end, employers should give staff notice in writing. Employers should check the furlough agreement as it might say how much notice to give but if it does not, ACAS has recommended providing employees with as much notice as possible.
As the scheme closure is imminent employers should begin talking to staff as soon as possible about ending furlough and encourage staff to raise any concerns about returning to work now, so these can be dealt with prior to their return to work.
At Talbots our experienced employment solicitors can provide advice and assistance on bringing employees back to work from furlough, terminating employment fairly and how to implement any changes to terms and conditions of employment. They can also draft the necessary documentation to assist with any of these options, to include a letter serving notice to bring the employee back to work from furlough.
In some circumstances employers may consider offering a settlement agreement to an employee as an alternative to going through a lengthy termination process. Talbots can assist employers with this process by drafting the settlement agreement and advising on how to carry out the ‘protected conversation’.
Please contact the Talbots Employment Team on 0800 118 1500. for an initial discussion and how we can assist.