Employment law specialist, David Dixey discusses the updated Government Guidance relating to the coronavirus job retention scheme.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been extended until the 31st of March 2021 and the Government will review the Scheme sometime in January 2021, to decide how it will operate in February and March of next year. Government guidance is issued from time to time, most recently at the start of December 2020.
The guidance has been updated regarding the use of the CJRS (Furlough) within the context of annual leave and holiday pay.
Furloughed employees continue to accrue leave as per their employment contract.
Employers can only place employees on furlough if Coronavirus (Covid 19) is affecting their operations.
Employees should not be placed on furlough just because:
The employer and employee can agree to vary holiday entitlement as part of the furlough agreement, however almost all workers are entitled to 5.6 weeks of statutory paid leave each year which they cannot go below.
Employees can take holiday whilst on furlough. If they are flexibly furloughed, then any hours taken as holiday during the claim period should be counted as furloughed hours rather than working hours.
If a furloughed employee takes holiday, the employer should pay their usual holiday pay in accordance with the Working Time Regulations.
Employers will be obliged to pay employees who are on holiday additional amounts over the grant, though an employer will have the flexibility to restrict when leave can be taken if there is a business need and the correct notice is given. This applies for both the furlough period and the recovery period.
If you are an employer and require any employment law advice and assistance contact David Dixey on 01206 593 925.