Welcome guest, please log in here   |    T +44(0)115 7180333   |   E   info@halborns.com

Keeping up to date

We take seriously our responsibility to keep you up to date so that you can use changes in employment law to commercial advantage. By understanding and interpreting the latest case law and legislation we can deliver updates to you that are concise and usable. With imagination, we are able to ensure that developing law can be used to allow you to achieve commercial solutions, cost effectively and expediently.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Posted on: March 23rd, 2020 by Ginny Hallam

Here’s what the government have said…

  • Any employer is eligible to benefit from the coronavirus job retention scheme
  • Employers need to contact HMRC for the grant through their new online portal
  • The scheme covers furloughed employees who are kept on payroll rather than being laid off
  • You will need to notify your employees if they amount to a furloughed worker (bearing in mind existing employment law and their employment contract)
  • The government will pay 80% of monthly wages up to £2500 per employee
  • Employers can pay more if they want
  • The scheme will be open before the end of April and can be backdated to 1st March
  • The scheme is initially open for three months

Our thoughts…

  • We need to know from the government what classifies as a month’s wage so we can calculate 80%
  • Did the government really mean to say that laid off employees can’t benefit from the scheme? We think they meant employees made redundant can’t benefit from the scheme
  • To benefit from the scheme, employees need to be furloughed – what happens in respect of employees off sick, self-isolating or on holiday for part of the month?
  • How are you going to choose who you send home? If you’re discriminatory or your selection isn’t objective, at worst you’re at risk of claims of discrimination or constructive unfair dismissal, and at best you de-motivate some of your good performers
  • Don’t forget you still need to comply with employment law and the terms of an employee’s contract
  • If you ask for volunteers, what’s your approach to too many people volunteering?
  • If you’re going to top up pay, how are you going to do that for everyone – ask them to take holiday? I which case, do they still benefit from the scheme?
  • How are you going to deal with the situation before the government are able to make the payments – if you pay employees, will you be able to recover that money back from the government?