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I spent Sunday in A&E with my Mum. You see all of life in an A&E reception waiting room. There was one extremely loud lady who had had a fall down the stairs 10 days previously and thought today was the day she ought to seek advice from the doctors, on a busy Sunday on the hottest day of the year so far. Can you tell I wasn’t a fan? She started off by telling anyone who would listen to her that she was still on Furlough after 15 months. Shocker I thought!.

The truth is that many employers do have employees who have been furloughed and flexi furloughed continuously since March 2020. It’s worth noting that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) or Furlough as it is known, is due to end at the end of September 2021 and the following table shows how the percentages will change from 1st July 2021.

Furlough Scheme changes from 1st July 2021

If you are intending to bring your staff back off Furlough on 30th June we would advise that you write to them now and inform them notifying them of what they will be working. Some may have taken other work and appreciate notice. Some may also have made holiday bookings so be prepared for your approach if you can’t honour the holiday they want to take after 1st July.

If they have been long term furloughed (like the lady in A&E) consider bringing them back on flexible furlough in June so you can undertake a re-induction (we call it reboarding) and any remedial training that is needed. They can then be up to speed in July. They will also need to be trained in your COVID secure workplace rules and protocols.

Some staff may resign when told they are to return to work so be prepared to advertise the position once you have the resignation in writing.

It’s worthwhile reminding you of a few points from the latest guidance we had released on 20 May 2021:

Whilst on furlough your employee can:

  • take part in training
  • volunteer for another employer or organisation (but not yours)
  • work for another employer (if contractually allowed)

You can only claim for employees as below;

  • Where they were on a PAYE payroll scheme on or before 30 October 2020
  • Where they were on a payroll scheme on or before 2 March 2021 for periods starting on or after 1 May 2021

You can’t put someone on furlough just for them to take holiday but you can claim holiday periods when someone is furloughed. They are different.

You definitely should not furlough your term time only staff from mid July to end of August when they would otherwise not be working just because you pay their salary over 12 installments.  In this case their work is not impacted due to the coronavirus pandemic, its because its summer holidays, which is why it is an invalid claim.

If you need any assistance with any aspect of managing furlough, speak to us on 01527 909436.