As many businesses have utilised the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to furlough employees that they are unable to provide any work for during this pandemic, the next question we are asked is ‘how do I manage employees returning from furlough?’
As of today (28th April) the Government advice regarding lockdown remains unchanged and so the guidance is still to stay at home and where possible work from home, factors that have to be considered when reviewing the situation for your business and how you maintain the safety and welfare of your workers during this time.
Do I notify my employees in writing?
The starting point if you wish for employees to return is to issue them a notification – a template letter is available on our Covid-19 resource centre on our website which is free to download. As with all documentation relating to furloughing, please keep this for 5 years on your personnel files.
Where it is not possible to work from home
Every employer has a duty of care to their employees and there is a very real risk that must be assessed and managed if your business continues to trade at your premises.
- Ensure you have completed a Covid-19 risk assessment for your workplace to ensure that you are able to observe social distancing and take all reasonable precautions to keep your staff safe. We have a free template available in our Covid-19 resource centre on our website if you wish to download this.
- You may have issues from employees that have caring responsibilities, whether this be for children or family, that may prevent them from returning to work. It is worth considering the employees that may struggle and prioritising the return of others before these employees.
- Travelling to and from work may cause increased risk if your employees rely on public transport for example so again take this into account when considering your selection.
What if I need to place an employee back on furlough?
Of course, this is possible and you would simply send the Notification letter of the dates the new furlough period will commence from (available in our Covid-19 resource centre) Please do remember that in order to make a claim on the CJRS the employee must be furloughed for a minimum of 3 weeks in any period.
What if I need to make permanent cuts whilst employees are furloughed?
The guidance for the CJRS makes employees aware that although the scheme is there to assist in avoiding redundancies, redundancies may happen during this period.
You must follow the normal redundancy procedures if you feel this is necessary and these may be effective either during or immediately after a period of furlough.
If you are unsure of the correct process to follow or would like some guidance on redundancies, then please contact our helpline free of charge on 0844 8797286 (local rate)
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