Furlough Update - Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: Update

Some very important changes to the Government's furlough / job retention scheme were introduced yesterday:

  1. Most significantly, anyone employed on or before 19 March 2020 can now be furloughed (it had previously been 28 February 2020). This will benefit many thousands of new starters previously excluded from the scheme.
  2. The reason for furlough must be "circumstances arising as a result of the coronavirus (even if the employee would not necessarily have been made redundant). It is unclear whether and, if so, how firms may need to show that the decision to furlough was connected to coronavirus.
  3. To qualify, the period of furlough must have been agreed in writing between the employer and employee. Previously, unless the decision to furlough entailed a change to the employee's contract, the decision to furlough need only have been notified (not agreed) to the employee in writing. The above changes (and others) are set out in the Treasury’s's Direction, published yesterday, read here >

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