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Furlough scheme update for employers

The Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has today (Tuesday 12 May) announced an extension to the Government’s furlough scheme for four months to the end of October 2020. More detail will be available at the end of May, but we know to the end of July 2020 there are no changes.

From August to October, employers will be encouraged to bring back more workers and if necessary, in part time roles and employers will be expected to share more of the cost of furlough.

Amanda Finn, partner and head of employment at Gullands comments:

“The Chancellor’s announcement will come as some relief to many SMEs in Kent with the furlough provisions extended to the end of July. Without full detail of what happens from then it is difficult to see what happens in August onwards, but the principle that there will be a phased return to work from August to October will assist employers in getting to grips with managing their workforce back into the workplace whilst having regard to their safety. Plans need to be considered sooner rather than later about working conditions, office hours and whether they can be staggered and how your staff travel to work or continue at home.”

“However, the economics of a recession will mean that unless those business have a market for their goods and services many will be considering now whether the sticking plaster of the extended furlough system is enough to mend the wound. Some are already consulting and considering redundancies as a result of the reduced capacity that they will have for clients and customers and bearing in mind the additional costs they must bear to reorganise the workplace to achieve social distancing.”