Latest reforms to the Furlough scheme have now been released by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak. Here are the headline points announced at his press conference on Friday 29th May:
On Sunday 10th May, the Prime Minister advised those of us who cannot work from home to return to our workplaces. Advice was given to employers on how to protect workers from Covid-19 and we were instructed to remain alert.
A recent study in the Guardian found that out of 800 people currently living with mental illness, 80% felt their condition had worsened due to the impact of COVID-19 and 28% said it was much worse.
There is no doubt that sub-contracting has a significant part to play in the economy of certain industries, like construction, transportation and consultancy.
There appears to be confusion among some of our customers regarding the difference between Statutory and Contractual notice when making people redundant. There is no case law, given this emerging topic, but my much respected network of Barristers and QC’s believe as follows:
Changing contractual terms such as pay, working hours and the place of work is fraught with challenges
On Thursday 2nd April, HSE made it clear that, with the exception of some non-essential shops and public venues, they are not asking businesses to close. Instead employers are required to take all possible steps to enable their staff to work from home.
“I have an employee that is unwilling to return from furlough leave. What can I do?”
This kind of conundrum is now inevitable – after all, employees have been at home on 80% pay, with sunshine, for a few weeks now. So what are the considerations?
There are three tactics we see employees using to enforce the continuance of Furlough leave:
The HMRC Portal is now open for employers to claim grants for Furloughed workers. These payments are then expected to be with applicants from 30th April. HMRC believe the portal can handle 450,000 applications per hour, but their call centre may crash if there is a problem. In addition:
On Wednesday 8th April, Alok Sharma, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industry, wrote to the manufacturing and industry sector to remind them of UK Government’s approach to work during the current Covid-19 crisis.