COVID-19 – Business Support – Today is the Last Day to Furlough an Employee for the First Time…but there is a Last-Minute Change

Today is the last day that an employer can furlough an
employee for the first time under the Coronavirus Job Retention
Scheme. This is a precursor to the introduction of flexible
furloughing on 1st July.
 
From July, the scheme will be restricted to employers currently
using the scheme and to employees that are or have previously
been furloughed, whilst allowing those employees to potentially
work on a part-time basis.
 
However, yesterday HM Treasury announced a last-minute
change that parents on paternity and maternity leave who
return to work in the coming months will remain eligible for the
scheme after the cut-off date.
 
As well as those employees returning to work from a period on
statutory maternity and paternity leave, this exemption would
cover those on adoption leave, shared parental leave and
parental bereavement leave.
 
In these circumstances, the only criterion is that the employer
has previously furloughed employees under the scheme.
We expect detailed operational guidance on the flexible
furlough process to be published by The Treasury on Friday and
will publish a newsletter accordingly.