The Furlough scheme has been a lifesaver for many businesses enabling them to keep staff on the payroll through the pandemic. 
This scheme comes to an end on 30 September 2021, and for many companies, this will pose problems dealing with staff who have not been working their full hours for a long time. 
Here are some tips on how to deal with the end of Furlough. 
Review your current staffing needs 
Now is the time to consider your staffing needs and to forward plan. 
You may have no choice but to consider redundancies. This needs to be handled carefully and ensure that every step you take is compliant with employment law. For changes to terms and conditions, you also need to step carefully. Do not make any changes without getting legal advice. 
Holiday Entitlemen
Staff on Furlough were entitled to holiday the same as if they were working. So ensure you calculate what they are owed and clarify when they are expected to use it. Many will not have taken a holiday whilst on Furlough, and they can legally carry this over. 
The Government website states 
“The government has passed new emergency legislation to ensure businesses have the flexibility they need to respond to the coronavirus pandemic and to protect workers from losing their statutory holiday entitlement (The Working Time (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020, laid before Parliament on 27 March 2020). These regulations enable workers to carry holiday forward where the impact of coronavirus means that it has not been reasonably practicable to take it in the leave year to which it relates. 
Where it has not been reasonably practicable for the worker to take some or all of the 4 weeks’ holiday due to the effects of coronavirus, the untaken amount may be carried forward into the following 2 leave years. However, when calculating how much holiday a worker can carry forwards, employers must allow workers to take any leave that they cannot carry forward before the end of the leave year.” 
You can find more information here on this 
Settling staff back in 
If you have staff who have been off for some time, consider how best to settle them back in. For example, organise a welcome back meeting, make people feel valued and part of the team again. They may have felt isolated, so now is the time to integrate them back into the team. 
The pandemic is far from over, and you may need to consider measures that protect your business in case of problems over the winter season. 
Ensure your staff feel safe, cared for, and valued. This has been a tough time for many people, and many might feel nervous about returning to the workplace. 
It is still advisable to have hand sanitisers in place, and in some cases, you might still want to have social distancing measures and mask-wearing. 
If you need advice and help on HR and employment law matters, do get in touch. 
Tagged as: furlough ending
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