Furlough is coming to an end so what are the options?
The furlough scheme ends on 31 October 2020. This is yet another uncertain and challenging period for companies and their employees.
Now is the time to consider options and the way forward to best support the health of your busines, in conjunction with making best use of the Job Support Scheme.
Points for employers to consider:
- To end furlough, talk to employees affected as early as possible. Returning to work should not be a surprise or sudden. Written notice should be given following the initial conversation and may be a requirement depending on the terms of the furlough leave agreement
- Encourage those employees to raise any concerns or problems about returning to work so that these can be addressed prior to them coming back
- Furlough can be continued after the government scheme finishes, with the agreement of the employee – there will be no grant to support the payments so employers should bear in mind that they would be liable for the costs as government support is withdrawn
- Consider negotiating reduced working time and pay with employees if this is feasible
- Consider allowing employees to take an unpaid sabbatical. The benefit of this for the employee would be continuance of employment, avoiding redundancy and a return to work once the business is able to support more staff
- Should the employer consider making redundancies, offer voluntary redundancy or early retirement where possible
- Perhaps by implementing some cost saving changes, employees may be able to be retained. Measures to think about are:
- Limiting or stopping overtime
- Retraining staff to fulfil other duties, making them multi-skilled
- Letting go temporary workers and/or contractors
- Consider flexible working arrangements
- Temporarily reduce additional benefits (gym membership, health care, employee discounts)
- Restructuring or moving employees
Remember, Team PSHR are on hand to help you steer through this transitional period, providing advice and support.