November 10, 2020
Under the furlough extension:
It is advisable to issue new letters and keeping these records for the six years required by HMRC. This is for two reasons:
This is the case even where a previous letter envisaged a possible extension to the scheme.
It is clear that annual leave will continue to accrue during furlough. On 13 May, the government issued additional guidance on holiday entitlement and pay during coronavirus. Employers will also want to take note of the ACAS guidance on holiday pay, as employment tribunals will take that into account.
The policy paper simply confirms that employees will retain their existing statutory rights in relation to annual leave.
In the run-up to Christmas holidays, employers will be starting to think again about public holidays. Where a public holiday would normally have been taken as annual leave, the employer can either assign the public holiday as a day of annual leave or defer the bank holiday and allow the employee to take that day at another time.
The scheme purpose is stated in the policy paper to be "to support individuals and businesses who are impacted by disruption caused by COVID19 this winter" however a definite answer will not be known until the full guidance and Treasury Direction are published.
Yes. Helpfully, the policy paper sets out clearly that furlough can be used for shielding employees or employees with caring responsibilities:
"Employees can be furloughed where they are unable to work because they:
The claim portal is to open from 08:00 on Wednesday 11 November 2020.
Posted in: Employment Law