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Employers who are considering make furloughed workers redundant should consider how they do so and take into account a number of employment issues in order to avoid being taken to employment tribunal.
From August employers will have to start contributing to the furlough scheme and that will be crunch time for many employers, despite the bonus offer from the Chancellor. Indeed we are already seeing daily announcements of job cuts.
So how should employers tackle redundancies after furlough. XpertHR has just published guidance on this issue which makes clear that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme does not directly affect the normal operation of employment law when it comes redundancies. That means employers still have to behave reasonably in making an individual redundant, not target specific groups, such as women, and should consult collectively.
In addition, employers will have to grapple with new challenges, including avoiding penalising furloughed employees when selecting for redundancy. They need to exercise particular care in relation to those whose return from furlough is impacted by underlying health concerns or ongoing childcare obligations. The issues of notice pay for redundant employees and calculating statutory redundancy pay are also potentially affected by employees being on furlough.
XpertHR’s guidance includes the following advice:
To view the guidance on carrying out redundancies where employees have been furloughed click here.