On 05 June 2020, I wrote how 10 June 2020 was a pivotal date for employers. Simply, if an employee had not been furloughed for the first time on or before that date, employers would not be able to make reclaims under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) when it enters ‘phase 2’ from 01 July 2020.
This is all to do with the 21-day fixed furlough period required under CJRS phase 1. As per HM Treasury’s factsheet:
This means that the final date by which an employer can furlough an employee for the first time will be the 10 June, in order for the current three-week furlough period to be completed by 30 June
Returners from Family-Related Leave
Here I am talking about anyone returning from the following periods of family-related leave:
- Statutory Maternity Leave
- Statutory Adoption Leave
- Statutory Paternity leave
- Statutory Shared Parental Leave, and
- Statutory Parental Bereavement Leave
The 10 June 2020 deadline would have severely impacted anyone returning from any of these leave periods. These returners would have been unlikely to have been furloughed on or before this date.
Where an employer was expecting to furlough (or an individual was expecting to be furloughed) this option would not have been available.
Treasury Announcement 09 June 2020
At 9 minutes past 7pm on 09 June we were alerted that HM Treasury had issued a news story saying that returners from family-related leave absences would not be affected by the 10 June 2020 deadline.
Returners will be able to be furloughed by the employers, as long as the employer has previously furloughed employees.
The potentially discriminatory practice has been averted at the last minute. In truth, I think that we have Martin Lewis to thank for preventing this unfair discriminatory practice taking place. A statement on his Website indicates that he has been pressing HM Treasury on the issue.