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UK Coronavirus Furlough Wind Down – Dates and Costs for UK Retailers to Note

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“CJRS”) was launched on 20 April 2020 in the UK, and numerous household names in British retail have sought to rely on the scheme by furloughing staff. As at 31 May 2020, HMRC reported that 8.7 million jobs had been furloughed in the UK, with a total value of claims made at around £17.5 billion1; which is representative of almost a quarter of employees in Britain.2

On 12 June 2020, the UK government released new guidance3 to implement flexible furlough and gradually wind down the CJRS to its expected end date of 31 October 20204. The government’s go-head to many non-essential retailers to re-open their doors on 15 June 2020 aligns closely with this wind down.

Retailers with UK employees will need to make early assessments as to whether (and, if so, how) they will continue to furlough employees going forward. We set out some key dates below to bear in mind:

10 June 2020: Apart from those returning from family leave, furlough claims can only be made in respect of employees who have already been registered under the CJRS by this date. 16 June 2020: In addition to knowing when the changes take effect, UK retailers need to bear in mind the risk that they may also trigger collective consultation obligations. The obligation to collectively consult may be triggered by a proposal to change terms and conditions or make redundancies of 20 or more employees at 1 establishment within a 90 day period (whether or not

COVID-19 redundancy issues: HR frequently asked questions in multiple jurisdictions

We understand that our clients and contacts will be addressing complex redundancy issues related to COVID-19 in multiple jurisdictions. BCLP, together with our local counsel friends, have produced a global Q&A document covering 40 jurisdictions. We cover questions around dismissals, compensation, collective consultation and alternatives to redundancy.

Please download our global Q&A document here.

The document covers the following questions:

  • Is there any legislation, order or mandate prohibiting an employer from dismissing an employee in circumstances where the employer has obtained the benefit of Coronavirus government support?
  • Does an employee with a qualifying period of employment have any statutory protection against redundancy dismissal?
  • What redundancy compensation is payable to an employee who is dismissed by reason of redundancy?
  • Should an employer take into consideration a Coronavirus government support scheme before dismissing an employee?
  • Are employers subject to separate collective consultation obligations?
  • If an employer is subject to collective consultation obligations, is there any defence for a failure to comply?
  • If an employer is subject to collective consultation obligations, what is the sanction for a failure to comply?
  • What alternatives to redundancy dismissal are open to an employer?

COVID-19 in 19 Teleconference: UK Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – what next for employers?

We are holding a regular series of bite-sized 19-minute teleconferences on the key COVID-19 employment law issues employers need to think about.

Our second teleconference looks at the UK government’s furlough scheme. The UK government recently announced that the scheme will extend until 31 October 2020, albeit in a different format from 1 August 2020.

This session will cover:

  • Key aspects of the current furlough scheme.
  • Some of the practical issues that employers are currently experiencing under the furlough scheme.
  • An overview of the proposed changes to the furlough scheme.
  • Issues to consider after 1 August 2020.
  • The next “cliff-edge”.

Event details Date Wednesday 20 May 2020 Time 11.30-11.49am (BST) Dial-In Instructions Provided to registrants in advance of the teleconference.

 

Register to attend >

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