“The government has brought in new laws to help furloughed employees, providing some reassurance during this difficult time and to ensure they are not short-changed,” says Ross Pierrepont, Employment law specialist at Tallents Solicitors. He looks at the key changes and explains what this means for employers and employees.
Redundancy payments for furloughed employees to be based on full normal wage rate
Furloughed employees who are subsequently made redundant will now be protected by new legislation which came into force on 31 July 2020. This will ensure that furloughed employees who receive statutory redundancy payments, and/or statutory notice payments, and/or unfair dismissal compensatory awards, will have those sums calculated on the basis of their full, normal rate of pay rather than any reduced rate they may have been receiving while on furlough under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).
Job Retention Bonus for those previously furloughed: policy paper published
To encourage employers to keep furloughed workers on, HMRC introduced a Job Retention Bonus scheme outlined in a policy paper dated 31 July 2020.
Ross said: “Under the scheme eligible employers may claim a one-off payment of £1,000 for each eligible employee, in respect of whom they have made a claim under the CJRS, who then remains continuously employed through to 31 January 2021.
Employers ‘risk breaching furlough rules’ on pension payments
Ross warns that employers should be careful when paying their workers’ pension contributions or they risk breaking the rules if they fail to properly calculate pension contributions for employees who have been furloughed under the government’s CJRS. Tallents Solicitors can offer employers advice on this matter.
Statutory Sick Pay (General) (Coronavirus Amendment) (No 5) Regulations 2020
Amendments are made to the Statutory Sick Pay (General) Regulations 1982 to extend eligibility for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) to cover individuals where they are self-isolating for a minimum of ten days in line with Public Health England guidance published on 30 July in England, Scotland, and Wales. These Regulations came into force on 5 August 2020.
Ross finishes: “These have been worrying times for employers and employees and legislative changes are being made and introduced quickly. It’s important that everyone understands what they can and cannot do and what they are entitled to under the new legislation and that’s why our employment law experts here at Tallents Solicitors are on hand to provide advice and guidance. Just call one of our three offices in Newark, Southwell or Mansfield to arrange a confidential appointment.