Major furlough change means millions could face redundancy today

Millions of workers across the country who have been on furlough since the start of lockdown will find out this week whether they still have a job, or if they are to be made redundant.

Companies which will be looking to make more than 100 staff redundant when furlough ends on October 31 have until Thursday, September 17, to start the 45-day consultation period.

That means staff who face redundancy when the scheme is ended will be told this week that their jobs are at risk, reports The Mirror.

In order to hit the 45-day deadline, many companies will tell staff today, September 15, that they are at risk.

The job retention scheme ends on Saturday 31 October, after winding down one more time on October 1.

If companies start their redundancy consultation after Thursday they will be forced to pay staff full pay from November 1 until employees are formally laid off.

“Tuesday could be D-Day for many employers who are thinking about making more than 100 employees redundant before the furlough scheme ends,” said Pam Loch, employment lawyer at Loch Associates.

“By law an employer has a duty to consult for at least 45-days with the representatives of those at risk.

“This must happen ahead of any decisions being made to confirm the positions are redundant where the employer is proposing to make more than 100 furloughed or other employees redundant in a 90 day period.

“If this needs to be completed before the end of October when the furlough scheme ends, that means those employers need to start that consultation on Tuesday.”

Current employment laws state that staff must be given 45-days’ notice where more than 100 redundancies are likely.

This falls to 30-days for employers looking to make 20 to 99 redundancies.

The next winding down of furlough rules on October 1 means companies will have to pay at least 20 per cent of their furloughed staff’s salaries – as well as National Insurance and pension contributions.

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