The CJRS, or Furlough Scheme, is currently due to end on 30 September 2021. In efforts to encourage a return to work the UK Government has introduced a winding down period for the Furlough Scheme starting in July.
During this time, furloughed employees will continue to be eligible to be paid up to 80% of their usual pay for hours not worked (up to a maximum of £2,500 per month). In July the level of Government contribution reduced to 70%. From 1 August to 30 September the level of Government contribution will reduce again to 60%, with the employer having to pay 20%.
With the level of UK Government support tapering down, some businesses may need to consider whether they are able to independently support employees in their return to work. If trading conditions have not improved sufficiently, some business may need to take steps to reduce their costs as the Furlough Scheme tapers down. Various cost saving options may be considered including temporary amendments to contracts through agreement (such as reducing hours), redundancies (compulsory or voluntary) or temporary lay-off (where contracts allow).
Notice pay and/or redundancy payments cannot be claimed back by an employer under the Furlough Scheme.
Intimation of furlough arrangements coming to an end and the proposed return to work should be communicated in writing with employees invited to discuss any questions or concerns that they may have. If the return to work is to involve a return to the workplace the letter should advise what steps have been taken in terms of risk assessment and health and safety measures. Please get in touch with our employment team if you require more detailed advice on bringing employees back from furlough.