Flashpoint warning for employers following end of furlough

Rebecca Bennett - Ellis Jones Solicitors
Rebecca Bennett - Ellis Jones Solicitors

Employers in Dorset and Hampshire are being urged to follow the letter of the law as the after-effects of furlough become felt in the coming weeks.
Regional law firm Ellis Jones Solicitors has warned that the closure of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme could result in HR flashpoints if procedures aren’t followed correctly.

And it has advised businesses to ensure their claims for September – the last month of furlough – are lodged by October 14 so they don’t miss out on their final payments.

Employment experts at Ellis Jones – with more than 160 staff and 18 Partners in Dorset, Hampshire and London – have been supporting hard-pressed firms with advice and support throughout the pandemic.

Employment Solicitor Rebecca Bennett said: “The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been an absolute lifeline for many employers and employees.

“With the closure of the scheme, employers should have considered their options and followed the correct procedures, whether that was for returning staff, changes in terms and conditions or redundancies.

“The after-effects of the closure of the scheme will continue to make themselves felt in the coming weeks as employers and employees adjust.

“Ensuring the correct procedures are followed will help avoid any immediate flashpoints and issues in the longer term.”

Employees returning to work must have been brought back on their original terms and conditions¬ – and consideration given to any necessary steps to facilitate their return.

Employers need their employees’ consent if there are any fundamental changes to the terms and conditions of employment, such as for hours or pay, following their return.

There must be a genuine reason for any redundancies and a fair procedure must be carried out – including consultation.  Employees are entitled to notice but this cannot be claimed under the furlough scheme.

Any implementation of short-time working or laying off requires consultation and adequate notice – and there has to be provision in the employee’s contract.
Furlough claims for September must be submitted by 14 October 2021 and any amendments to the claims must be made by 28 October 2021.

Ellis Jones has offices in Bournemouth, Canford Cliffs (Poole), Ringwood, Swanage and Wimborne as well as London.
•    www.ellisjones.co.uk/


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