In partnership with David Mills, Partner at Mills & Reeve
Extraordinary times, extraordinary measures
Detailed guidance on the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has recently been announced. The offer to reimburse employers 80% of their employment costs (up to a maximum of £2500 a month) to avoid them making staff redundant, first announced on 20 March, represents an extraordinary intervention in the labour market.
The ONE Group in partnership with Mills & Reeve will look in detail at all of the employment issues that employers have been grappling with over the last few weeks and will continue to grapple with over the coming months.
Topics to be discussed include:
Which employers is the scheme open to?
What are the rules of eligibility?
How does it work with employees on sick leave or other leave such as maternity?
How should holidays and pension entitlement be treated?
How long will it run for? Can staff be rotated?
What payments exactly do employees receive and what as an employer can be claimed back?
Can an employer choose to top this up?
What information is needed to claim and when are payments likely to be received?
Is an employee’s consent required to be furloughed? Does the employment contract continue? What variations of the contract of employment will be required to implement the period of leave?
How should employees be selected for furlough leave, ensuring that the selection process is fair and free from discrimination?
What legal risks are there here? For example, does making these arrangements trigger collective consultation requirements?
At the same time as considering furlough, employers are also looking to make cost savings which often include asking employees to agree to a reduction in hours and/or a reduction in pay. We will also look at this to include:
What process do I need to follow to make changes to an employee’s terms and conditions?
What if employees don’t agree?
What legal risks are there here?
Does this trigger collective consultation requirements?
These are challenging times for us all and should you want to speak to us about anything, please let us know. This could be understanding what effect this has had on the job market if you’re affected and looking for work as a result. If you have a need for temporary support or you might just need to speak to another human being! We can't invite you to our offices for a coffee these days, but we have plenty of specialists that are happy to call and help.