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Bulletin

The Coronavirus Crisis: The Furlough Scheme

The Government has published its Guidance on the operation of the Furlough Scheme, entitled Claim for wage costs through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

It appears that there will not be Regulations that will set out the entitlement and operation of the Scheme. The Guidance document is at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme.

The Guidance sets out in broad terms the manner in which the Scheme will operate, the period for which employees must be absent before they are entitled, anti-avoidance measures and the way in which a claim is to be made.

There is much in the document that is left unsaid and which needs to be considered by employers. In particular, the interaction with discrimination, holiday, maternity, part time work and the selection process for the Scheme (which will involve consideration of these factors) will need to be addressed.

This Bulletin sets out the Guidance and then contains a worked example, which identifies some of the considerations and pitfalls that may need to be taken into account. Reference should also be made to the first bulletin that dealt with SSP, frustration, collective consultation and special circumstances.

Advice should be taken on the practical application of the scheme as there are a number of employment pitfalls, especially in relation to selection and consultation for furlough or redundancy.

We are working with clients across our international network to help them minimise the impact of COVID-19 on their business and to prepare for what's next. To find out more, visit our dedicated Covid-19 hub.

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