a warehouse worker with a facemask

Government furlough and redundancies

What is government furlough?

When the Coronavirus pandemic hit the UK, the government introduced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). This is more commonly referred to as government furlough. It is when an employee is paid their full wage but is not required to work. The company pays 20% whilst the government pays the remaining 80% up to £2,500 a month.

The point of furlough was to ensure there was a job for workers to go back to after the Covid-19 pandemic was over. It would mean companies could save money during lockdown, avoiding financial ruin. However, the scheme will close at the end of October. So what happens then?

Furlough from July 2020

On the 1st July 2020, companies could begin bringing employees back on a part-time basis. This could be any shift pattern, for any amount of hours. For any hours not worked, the Government would continue to pay 80% of the remaining wages. 

To date, the scheme has protected over nine million jobs. However, all government assistance with job retention will stop at the end of October. This means that workers will need to return to their regular hours at work from November 1st. The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has already commented that this will be a “difficult moment” for workers and employers alike. This is because some companies may not yet be in a position to bring back all their employees by then. Unfortunately, this may mean job losses and redundancies. 

workers wearing facemasks during coronavirus

What if you lose your job?

Throughout furlough and after it ends, people can be made redundant. This is exactly what the furlough scheme was set up to avoid, but it may be inevitable in some cases. In fact, a recent YouGov survey indicated that within three months of the furlough scheme ending, over half of UK businesses will be forced to make some workers redundant.  If you are made redundant due to the Coronavirus pandemic, what are your options?

  • You can apply to the government’s Insolvency Service. This was set up specifically for people who were furloughed, and then made redundant. Their website has further information on your rights when you are made redundant. If you would like to speak to someone about what you are entitled to, get in touch with us today to set up a meeting. 
  • You may be eligible to claim Universal Credit. This is a system that helps people on low incomes, or who are out of work. It is paid monthly, and can assist with the cost of living whilst seeking another job. We can help with your application or any queries you may have in applying. 
  • If you feel your redundancy was unfair, you may be able to challenge your employer. Again, speak to one of our representatives and we can help you decide your next steps. 

Back to work

Once the government furlough scheme ends, it is hoped that most jobs will remain for workers to go back to. However, if you find that you are in a worse situation through redundancy or a lack of work due to the pandemic, please get in touch.

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